published Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Grundy County, Tenn., meth probe nets arrests, shuts down nine labs

APRIL TO JULY ARRESTS

• Daniel Kilgore, 37, Monteagle, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Cecelia Nunley, 44, Monteagle, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• James Jenkins, 43, Monteagle, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Jeff Jenkins, 47, Monteagle, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Beatrice Nolan, 62, Tracy City, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• William Cannon, 48, Monteagle, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Chris King, 42, Beersheba, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Amanda King, 34, Altamont, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Justin Barks, 25, Beersheba, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Teesha Manley, 20, Tracy City, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Casey James, 33, Gruetli-Laager, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Cody Hill, Tracy City, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Lee Anderson, 28, Tracy City, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Jammy Curtis, 37, South Pittsburg, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine, criminal conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine

• Amanda Comer, 31, Altamont, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Joseph Wideman, 33, of Palmer, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Heather King, 34, Palmer, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Paul G. Curtis, 49, Coalmont, criminal conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine

• John H. Hobbs, 27, Altamont, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing and initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Patrick Killian, 26, Beersheba, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Tiffany Allen, 37, Palmer, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Dale Callahan, 44, Palmer, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Shawn Allen, 40, Palmer, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Catherine McGee, 25, Tracy City, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing and initiation of the process to manufacture methamphetamine

• Nicholas Callahan, 22, Palmer, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Candice Gilliam, 23, Tracy City, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Zach Rymer, 26, Altamont, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing, methamphetamine manufacturing

• Jessica Dockery, 23, Tracy City, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Donnie Nolan, 45, Palmer, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

• Jeremy Hill, 35, Tracy City, methamphetamine manufacturing, promotion of methamphetamine manufacturing

Source: Grundy County Sheriff’s Office

Authorities raided nine suspected labs and arrested dozens of people during a two-month methamphetamine investigation in Grundy County, Tenn., that began in April.

Sheriff Brent Myers said the investigation struck a major blow.

"We have been working very hard on this case, and we will continue to aggressively pursue anyone involved in making methamphetamine here in Grundy County," Myers said. "We will do anything and everything we can to stop this."

The investigation relied on pseudoephedrine-based cold medicine purchasing data collected under state law.

"This case seems to weave a very interesting web of people that are all connected in some fashion or another from all corners of the county, from Pelham to Monteagle and Altamont to Palmer," department spokesman David Hodges said Tuesday.

Investigators used state Methamphetamine Task Force data collected from pharmacies where pseudoephedrine-based cold medicine -- such as Sudafed-Congestion, Advil Cold & Sinus, Tylenol Cold Severe Congestion, Mucinex-D and other brands -- is sold.

State law requires anyone who buys pseudoephedrine-based cold medicine to present a valid ID and to sign a log. Buyers are limited to 9 grams a month under laws that trigger a red flag that authorities can act upon when that amount is exceeded, Hodges said.

Purchasing data revealed "an extensive network" of "Smurfs," people who buy cold medicines for meth cooks to use to produce the drug.

"During interviews numerous people stated that meth cooks paid $60 to $120 for a box of cold tablets," Hodges said. "Some even said that they would take or exchange food or finished meth product for the cold pills containing pseudoephedrine."

Other cooks traded drugs or money for use of a house or property for manufacturing the highly addictive drug, officials said. Labs were found in "nice homes, run-down campers, and several out in the woods," Hodges said.

Officials said most of the people arrested as meth cooks "admitted to being addicts and said they just did it for their own use," countered by one who said he was "more addicted to the process of making the drug than the actual drug itself."

Court dates vary for those arrested.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or bbenton@timesfreepress.com.

  • photo
    Grundy County Sheriff Brent Myers announced Tuesday the results of a major methamphetamine bust in the county.
    Photo by Staff File Photo.
    enlarge photo

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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