People indicted on meth charges

* Daniel Hixon, 32, of Chattanooga

* Keith L. Bird, aka "Dirty Bird," 37, of Friendsville, Tenn.

* James Haynes, aka "Haun," 28, of Norcross, Ga.

* Christopher Mitchell, aka "Banjo," 30, of Maryville, Tenn.

* Michael Smith, 32, of Norcross, Ga.

* Steve Bartholomew, aka "Trigger," 50, of Louisville, Tenn.

* Samuel Higgins, aka "Sambo," 25, of Maryville, Tenn.

* Jeremiah Higgins, 24, of Maryville, Tenn.

* Dennis Clark, aka "Big Brother," 30, of Philadelphia, Tenn.

* Ashley Morris-Casebolt, 31, of Lenoir City, Tenn.

* Chadwick Condry, 44, of Maryville, Tenn.

* Thomas Freeman, 43, of Greenback, Tenn.

* William Norman, 42, of Rocky Top, Tenn.

* George Nicholas Bailey, 38, of Maryville, Tenn.

* John Shane Bailey, 44, of Knoxville

* Burt Cable, 46, of Maryville, Tenn.

* Shannon Kirby, 49, of Friendsville, Tenn.

A Chattanooga man is one of 17 people indicted Friday by a federal grand jury in Knoxville on drug and firearm charges.

Daniel Hixon, 32, was allegedly involved in a conspiracy to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine in Eastern Tennessee and elsewhere, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Hixon and two other men also were each charged with one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

One of the men also was charged with two counts of distributing 5 grams or more of methamphetamine.

If convicted of the methamphetamine conspiracy charge, each of the people indicted faces a minimum mandatory term of at least 10 years up to life, at least five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $10 million.

If convicted of the firearm charges, Hixon and the others face an additional minimum mandatory term of five years up to life, up to give years supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Any sentence imposed for the firearm charge also must be served consecutively to the sentence related to the drug charge.

A trial date is Aug. 1 before U.S. District Court Judge Pamela Reeves. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly A. Norris will represent the United States.

The investigation that led to the indictment was conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force, Blount County Sheriff's Office, Ninth Judicial District Drug Task Force, Loudon County Sheriff's Office, Knox County Sheriff's Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This story was updated May 2 at 10:50 p.m.