33 People Plead Guilty to Drug Charges in East Tennessee
February 13, 2013 Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Thirty-Two Individuals Convicted Of Cocaine, Marijuana, And Oxycodone Conspiracies
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - Between September 2011 and February 2013, the 33 individuals, listed below have all pleaded guilty to various drug conspiracies related to cocaine, marijuana, and oxycodone:
1. William A. Lawson, 66, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 2. Randal Michael Lawson, 57, of Limestone, Tenn.; 3. James Light, 64, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 4. Kenneth A. Lawson, 45, of Limestone, Tenn.; 5. Tia L. Lawson, 40, Kingsport, Tenn.; 6. Elia Maria Camacho Garcia, 30, Burlington, N.C.; 7. Brock A. Lawson, 26, Rogersville, Tenn.; 8. Jeffrey M. Bledsoe, 31, Kingsport, Tenn.; 9. Jessica L. Lawson, 32, Bristol, Tenn.; 10. Charles T. Laing, 30, Boynton Beach, Fla.; 11. Jackie D. Dykes, 48, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 12. Michael L. Dykes, 51, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 13. Lorne L. Loucel, 32, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 14. Lisa A. Crawford, 37, of Rogersville, Tenn.;
15. Virginia D. Light, 49, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 16. Asa Kermit M. Calhoun, 33, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 17. Steve A. Gooch, 29, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 18. Jonathan L. Light, 24, of Kingsport, Tenn.; 19. Jeremy R. Light, 28, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 20. Michael B. Dykes, 30, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 21. Daniel L. Dykes, 29, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 22. Christy D. Dykes, 32, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 23. Levi D. Love, 24, of Kingsport, Tenn.; 24. Shandeeda M. Compton, 31, of Rogersville, Tenn.; 25. Jessica R. Bernard, 23, Greeneville, Tenn.; 26. Cody A. Arnold, 27, Greeneville, Tenn.; 27. Joyce L. Malone, 35, Greeneville, Tenn.; 28. Christopher L. Tipton, 30, Afton, Tenn.; 29. Abbey M. Armstrong, 28, Greeneville, Tenn.; 30. Amanda D. Bernard, 23, Greeneville, Tenn.; 31. Christy R. Seay, 39, Greeneville, Tenn.; and 32. Marvin Neal Southerland, 33, Greeneville, Tenn.
This investigation began in 2009 and targeted individuals in the Tennessee counties of Greene, Sullivan, and Hawkins, who were trafficking in large quantities of cocaine and marijuana supplied by a drug trafficking organization in North Carolina.
In addition, individuals in Tennessee were distributing large quantities of oxycodone pills obtained from Nevada and Georgia. In 2010, Laing and other individuals opened The Liberty Wellness Pain Clinic in Norcross, Ga., and began using the clinic to obtain oxycodone for distribution in the Eastern District of Tennessee. In April 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Georgia raided the clinic and shut down its operations.
During the investigation, the DEA, in conjunction with agencies in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia, seized a total of 105 kilograms of cocaine, 271 pounds of marijuana, hundreds of oxycodone pills, multiple firearms, approximately $2.5 million in cash, and three parcels of real property in the Eastern District of Tennessee.
In total, the investigation revealed that, between 2002 and 2012, approximately 6,545 kilograms of marijuana, 35 kilograms of cocaine, and over 20,000 oxycodone pills were distributed in the Eastern District of Tennessee by these individuals.
"These cases are an example of extraordinary cooperation and effort on behalf of several local, state, and federal agencies. With the substantial support of these local and state law enforcement agencies, we were able to convict a large number of individuals associated with this very significant drug operation. There were millions of dollars, hundreds of pounds of cocaine, marijuana, and tens of thousands of oxycodone pills involved in this widespread illegal operation.
The investigation continues. It is essential for local, state and federal authorities to work together to rid society of such criminal activity. In these cases, the cooperative effort was superb. Hawkins, Sullivan and Greene county residents are safer because of these prosecutions and convictions. AUSA Hebets, representing the United States, has worked long and diligent hours, for months, to achieve these convictions," said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.
Hawkins County Tennessee Sheriff Ronnie Lawson stated, "This is the first time in the history of Hawkins County that local, state, and federal agencies have teamed together to rid one community of a terrible drug problem. It gives me great pride to be a part of that."
Sullivan County Tennessee Sheriff Wayne Anderson stated, "This investigation resulted in the conviction of several high profile individuals who have been engaging in criminal conduct in our communities since the 1990's. This is a great example of what we can accomplish when we work together."
Greene County Tennessee Sheriff Steve Burns stated, "I am very proud of this multi-agency investigation which has made a large impact on the drug problem in this region."
In addition to the drug distribution charges, several individuals, including William A. Lawson, Randall Michael Lawson, Elia Maria Camacho Garcia, and Charles T. Laing, also pleaded guilty to conspiracies to launder money.
William A. Lawson and Randall Michael Lawson also pleaded guilty to Social Security Fraud. Charles T. Laing and Jeffrey M. Bledsoe also pleaded guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking offenses.
These individuals are all awaiting sentencing before the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Court Judge and the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge. Randall Michael Lawson faces a mandatory term of 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $20,000,000.00, and at least 10 years supervised release upon his release from prison. William A. Lawson, Kenneth A. Lawson, Tia L. Lawson, Brock A. Lawson, and Jessica L. Lawson each face mandatory terms of 10 years in prison, maximum fines of $10,000,000.00 and at least five years supervised release upon release from prison.
James Light, Elia Maria Camacho Garcia, and Jeffrey M. Bledsoe each face mandatory terms of five years in prison, maximum fines of $5,000,000.00, and at least four years supervised release upon release from prison. The remaining individuals each face maximum terms of 20 years in prison, maximum fines of $1,000,000.00, and at least three years of supervised release upon release from prison. Additionally, Charles T. Laing and Jeffrey M. Bledsoe both face consecutive terms of five years in prison in connection with the firearms charges. All also face mandatory court assessments.
This indictment was the result of an investigation by the Hawkins County Tennessee Sheriff's Department, Sullivan County Tennessee Sheriff's Department, Greene County Tennessee Sheriff's Department; Second Judicial Drug Task Force, Kingsport, Tennessee, Police Department, Third Judicial Drug Task Force, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, and DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorney Caryn L. Hebets represented the United States.
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