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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Overton County Man Pleads Guilty To Making Fake Driver Licenses To Facilitate Meth Production

Richard Earl Graybeal, 41, of Cookeville, Tenn., pleaded guilty on May 20, 2014, in U.S. District Court,  to producing false identification documents, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.  Graybeal admitted that he had unlawfully manufactured Tennessee driver licenses and identification documents to facilitate the purchase of cold medications, which are commonly used in the production of methamphetamine. 

“The illicit production of Meth is a continuing problem in Middle Tennessee and we recognize the value of using all available resources to combat it, said U.S. Attorney David Rivera.  “That includes bringing federal criminal charges, when appropriate, including offenses that aid in the purchase of precursors necessary to produce it. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to direct the necessary resources to our communities where the manufacture of meth is epidemic.”

Testimony at the plea hearing established that Graybeal was placed on state probation in 2009 for promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine.  Graybeal’s probation officer, Overton County law enforcement officers and the Tennessee Highway Patrol received information that Graybeal was making identification documents in false names to use in purchasing cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient necessary for manufacturing methamphetamine and which requires identification to purchase.  Officers conducted a search of Graybeal’s residence on August 17, 2012, and discovered more than 70 fake Tennessee driver licenses and state identification cards.  Also found, was computer equipment and materials used in manufacturing the false documents and paraphernalia used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Several of the false licenses bore different names, but contained a photo of the same person.  Other documents bore Graybeal’s photo, but contained aliases.

Subsequent investigation by the U.S. Secret Service confirmed that Graybeal had used one or more of these false licenses and identities to make purchases of cold medicine.
“The Secret Service believes in a partnership approach to law enforcement, especially when the resources of its participants can be combined to effectively and efficiently make a significant impact on crime in the communities where we live,” said Todd Hudson, the Special Agent in Charge of the Nashville Secret Service office.  “In this case, the Secret Service partnered with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Overton County Sheriff’s Office to suppress the use of false identification documents intended for use in drug-related activities.  It is evident that identity theft and other criminal activities are inter-connected with the potential to adversely affect our communities.  The Secret Service is committed to combating identity theft and will continue to work with our state and local partners to reduce this type of criminal activity.”  

Graybeal’s state probation was subsequently revoked and he is currently serving a state prison sentence for the previous methamphetamine charge. He will be sentenced in U.S. District court on August 21, 2014 and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

This case was investigated by the Overton County Sheriff’s Office, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the U.S. Secret Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hilliard Hester.

Updated March 19, 2015