Mexicans Arrested for Drug Trafficking
More Mexicans Arrested for Drug Trafficking in Johnson City

Hawkins County Tennessee Family Nailed for Drugs:
Jr Gets 170 Months

April 22, 2011 WATE reports:

Four members of a Rogersville family were arrested early Thursday morning on several drug-related charges.

Walter Richard Yerkes, 64; his wife, Patricia Doris Yerkes, 67; their daughter, Patricia Ann Yerkes, 33; and son, Kevin Michael Yerkes, 32, were arrested in their home on Huffmaster Street...During the arrests, officers searched the home and found oxycodone, Xanax and several other prescription pills, marijuana, drug paraphernalia. They also seized $1,134 in cash and three vehicles.

The charges against the Yerkes include violations of the Drug Free Zone Act because their home is located within 1000 feet of the Friends at Play Pre-school.

August 14, 2012
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Kevin Michael Yerkes Sentenced To 170 Months In Prison For Conspiracy To Distribute Oxycodon

GREENEVILLE, Tenn.- Kevin Michael Yerkes, 33, of Rogersville, Tenn., was sentenced on August 13, 2012, to serve 170 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, by the Honorable J. Ronnie Greer, U.S. District Judge. Yerkes pleaded guilty on March 2, 2012, to a federal indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone.

In early 2011, the Hawkins County Sheriff's Office conducted a drug investigation of Yerkes, whereby he was observed making several sales of oxycodone. A search warrant carried out in April 2011 at Yerkes' residence uncovered illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia and multiple firearms. In May 2011 a grand jury in the Eastern District of Tennessee, at Greeneville, filed a 10-count indictment charging Yerkes with being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, and distribution of oxycodone.

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Yerkes was the result of an investigation conducted by the Hawkins County Sheriff's Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives into the illegal sale of prescription narcotics. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Gregory Bowman represented the United States.

See Crime by Race in Tennessee

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.