published Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Jury finds man guilty of selling meth-making chemical from Brainerd Army Store

After nine hours of deliberations over two days a federal jury found Terry Michael Honeycutt guilty on 11 of 14 charges that he sold a chemical used to make methamphetamine out of the Brainerd Army Store.

Chris Townley, Honeycutt's attorney, said his client was "greatly disappointed in the jury's verdict." He said he will have to discuss appeal options with Honeycutt.

Honeycutt is scheduled for sentencing on May 12. He faces no minimum sentence but a maximum of 20 years.

Kimberly Lynn McNeil, Honeycutt's longtime girlfriend, cried in the hearing and showed disbelief afterward.

"I don't understand why they can lie and win," McNeil said.

The woman referred to testimony that an agent investigating the case gave false information to a magistrate to get a search warrant for the store.

  • photo
    The Brainerd Army store is located on Brainerd Road in Chattanooga.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
    enlarge photo

McNeil's mother said Honeycutt didn't deserve the convictions and was used by police.

"I think they used him to get what they wanted, to bust up a bunch of meth labs," Kathleen Smith said. "They used him as a guinea pig."

Investigators made dozens of arrests on meth-related charges while keeping the Army Store under surveillance.

During his closing arguments Friday, Townley likened the arrests to "shooting fish in a barrel."

But prosecutor Jay Woods called multiple law enforcement witnesses in the trial who said they'd warned Honeycutt and his brother Tony Dewayne Honeycutt that the store was the main source of iodine for area meth cooks.

Iodine is a key ingredient in certain procedures to make meth.

Woods showed numbers that in 2007 the store sold two bottles of Polar Pure, a water-purifying product that is nearly 100 percent iodine.

In 2008, Honeycutt contacted police, asking if Polar Pure could be used to make meth because he was selling out of it to "edgy" customers.

He was told that it was being used to make meth, Woods told the jury. And he kept selling it.

Over the next 30 months the store sold 21,000 bottles at a profit of nearly $270,000.

Tony Honeycutt pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to sell iodine last year. He was sentenced to 5 months in prison.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement
400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.