Many arrested recently by the Unicoi County Sheriffs Department on meth-related charges have been linked in an indictment handed down by a federal grand jury. According to a press release from US Attorney William C. Killians office sent Sept 17, Unicoi County residents indicted included: Joseph Bob Banner, 33, of Erwin; Brandon Michael Beals, 21, of Erwin; Stacy Glen Black, 41, of Erwin; Jason Anthony Briggs, 33, of Flag Pond; Clinton Cody Cooper, 26, of Erwin; Lisa Engle Effler, 41, of Erwin; Ray Charles English, 20, of Erwin; Timothy Shaun Franklin, 34, of Erwin; David Edward Gardner, 51, of Unicoi; Donnie Lynn Hensley, 39, of Erwin; Jarrod Allen Hicks, 31, of Unicoi; Jerry Wayne Howell, 45, of Erwin; Daniel Scott Smith, 38, of Erwin; Michael Travis Smith, 37, of Erwin; and George Richard Thomas Jr., 29, of Erwin.
Other individuals indicted were: Robert Charles Bennett, 35, of Johnson City; Jeffrey Ray Casey, 33, of Washington County; Autumn Michelle McKinney, 25, of Elizabethton; Samuel McCoy Sanders III, 35, of Jonesborough; Brian Stacey Smith, 39, of Johnson City; and Spencer Jay Yates, 35, of Jonesborough.
The indictment, which was unsealed on Sept. 17, lists sixteen counts documented from on or about Jan. 1, 2010, to August 2012.
Count one charges all 21 individuals with conspiring with each other, and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, to manufacture fifty (50) grams or more of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
Count two charges Banner, Casey, Hicks and Michael Smith with a second count of conspiracy from on or about Jan. 1, 2010, to August 2012. Counts three and four of the indictment charge Banner with two counts of distribution of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. The first was from on or about April 25 and the second from on or about May 8, 2012, according to the indictment.
Thomas was charged with one count of possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine, according to the fifth count in the indictment on or about Jan. 23, 2012.
Two charges of possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine, were indicated against Black in counts six and seven. The indictment states that count six is from on or about April 9, 2012 and the seventh May 9, 2012. Bennett and Sanders were charged in count eight and nine that on or about July 24, 2012 they possessed, equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Sanders was also charged in count ten with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense as charged in counts one and nine.
Casey was charged in counts eleven and twelve with possession on or about Feb. 21, 2012 and distribution on or about July 19, 2012. Casey, Daniel Smith and Michael Smith were charged with possession on or about July 26, 2012. Michael Smith was charged again in count fourteen with distribution on or about July 18, 2012. Hicks is charged with possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine, which the indictment states was on or about May 2, 2012. Beals was charged in count sixteen with possession of equipment, chemicals, products, and materials which may be used to manufacture methamphetamine, on or about Aug. 4, 2012.
By Kayla Carter