Green County Man Gets 12 Years for Drug Trafficking 12 Others Indicted

August 14, 2012
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Billy Gene Taylor Sentenced On Cocaine, Marijuana, Oxycodone And Money Laundering Conspiracy Charges

GREENEVILLE, Tenn.- Billy Gene Taylor, 35, of Greene County, Tenn., and Salisbury, N.C., was sentenced on August 13, 2012, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 144 months in federal prison for his participation in a vast drug organization responsible for the distribution of large quantities of cocaine, marijuana and oxycodone in the Eastern District of Tennessee.

The overall criminal conspiracy operated between 2005 and 2012 and involved 13 indicted individuals. Taylor was one of the most active participants in the conspiracy. In August 2005, during the early stages of the conspiracy, a vehicle occupied by Taylor and co-defendants Frankie L. Crum and Frankie D. Crum was pulled over in Osceola, Fla. A search of the vehicle resulted in the seizure of over $56,000.00 in U.S. currency, which they were going to use to purchase at least two kilograms of cocaine and transport it back to East Tennessee for distribution.

In February 2010 Taylor was once again pulled over, this time by Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP). A search of his vehicle on this date revealed 144 pounds of marijuana in the trunk, which Taylor was transporting from Memphis, Tenn., to Greene County, Tenn., to be redistributed.

Taylor also assisted Frankie L. Crum and others in making multiple trips to Florida to obtain large quantities of oxycodone. He often caravanned with others on the trips to Florida in the effort to get as many pills as possible from pain clinics operating there and then transport them back to the Eastern District of Tennessee for distribution.

Additionally, Taylor assisted Frankie L. Crum by laundering money on several occasions. In May 2010, Taylor and co-defendant Tracy Haney were observed on video tape surveillance at a credit union in Kingsport, Tenn., with $30,000.00 in cash, which was acquired through drug sales, to purchase a BMW for co-defendant Frankie L. Crum and title it in someone else's name.

A search warrant was executed at a residence occupied by Taylor and Frankie L. Crum in February 2011 in Greene County, Tenn. During the search, officers located quantities of cocaine, marijuana, pills, scales, drug ledgers, a handgun, ammunition and over $45,000.00 in cash.

At this time, three of the individuals involved in the conspiracy have been sentenced, with all others scheduled for sentencing hearings between August 2012 and January 2013.

Prescription drug use is a problem in Tennessee

Drug overdose deaths in Tennessee are increasing:

The number of drug overdose deaths in Tennessee increased from 422 in 2001 to 1,059 in 2010; The number of drug overdose deaths in 2010 represents an increase of 250% over the 10 year time period. Includes all drug overdose deaths where the manner of death was listed as one of the following: accidental, undetermined, suicide (intentional), or homicide.

Source: Office of Policy, Planning and Assessment, Tennessee Department of Health - Death Certificates.

The top three most prescribed controlled substances in Tennessee in 2010 are:

275.5 million pills of hydrocodone (e.g., Lortab, Lorcet, Vicodin);

116.6 million pills prescribed for alprazolam (e.g., Xanax: used to treat anxiety);

113.5 million pills prescribed for oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Roxicodone) Hydrocodone and oxycodone are both prescription opioids used to treat pain.

The number of drugs prescribed during 2010 to Tennesseans represents:
51 pills of hydrocodone for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12;
22 pills of alprazolam for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12;
21 pills of oxycodone for EVERY Tennessean above the age of 12.

Source: Report to the 2011 General Assembly by the Tennessee Department of Health Controlled Substance Database Advisory Committee, Board of Pharmacy.

Prescription drug abuse affects everyone:

Abuse of prescription opioids is the number one drug problem for Tennesseans receiving state-funded treatment services;

Almost 250,000 Tennesseans older than 12 reported abusing prescription opioids in 2009.

Source: Treatment Episode Data Set - Admission (TEDS-A). 1999 - 2009. SAMHSA State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008 - 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.

Prescription drug abuse hits every profession and every socioeconomic level:

For those seeking state-funded treatment, people who were stable (married, employed and had at least a high school education) were 3.16 times more likely than less stable consumers to use prescription opioids than illicit drugs.

Source: Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services. Tennessee Web Information Technology System (TN WITS) Database.

Prescription drug abuse especially affects women:

While more men were admitted to treatment in 2009 than women, a higher percentage of women abuse prescription opioids;

21% of 6,827 men reported prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse;

27% of 3,403 women listed prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse;

35% of 142 pregnant women admitted to state-funded treatment services in Tennessee listed prescription opioids as their primary substance of abuse.

Source: SAMHSA State Estimates of Substance Use and Mental Disorders from the 2008 - 2009 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health.





 


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