Media Truth

Meth Convections Illustrate Problem in Tri-Cities

by Lewis Loflin

55 People sentenced to 347 Years in Federal Prison

Methamphetamine is the same scourge to white people that crack is a to blacks. In just one county almost 60 people pled guilty to various offences related to the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. New laws have done little to stem the problem.

See Jails and New Laws Won't Stop Tennessee Meth Epidemic

A series of methamphetamine investigations landed 55 defendants in Federal prison for a total of 4160 months or 347 years. All of the convicted are white - average age 37.5. 55 people received sentences from 6 to 240 months - average sentence is 75.6 months. Three others got supervised release - total 58.

None of these people will likely ever be useful to society. With these kinds of convictions they are unemployable in addition to addiction problems.

These investigations began late in 2009 in the Gray community of Washington County, but continued to include areas of Sulphur Springs, Telford, Limestone, Chuckey, Jonesborough, Johnson City, Elizabethton, and the Horse Creek community of Green County.

9 methamphetamine labs were encountered during the investigation. These arrests involved the processing of over 20 sites used to manufacture methamphetamine. Due to the possibility of encountering meth labs and the unpredictability of the individuals who cook-use methamphetamine the Washington County Sheriff's Office Special Weapons and Tactics Team was utilized to serve a majority of the arrest warrants.

The original charges may not be the final charge pled to, as all listed defendants entered pleas of guilty rather than face a harsher sentence if found guilty at trial. Federal sentences have to be served at a rate of 85 percent.

Several of the defendants had extensive criminal histories prior to this investigation.

Source: Washington County Tennessee Sheriff's Dept. January 17, 2014.

Number of babies born addicted to drugs on the rise in East Tennessee

WJHL TV March 22, 2012: Doctors are fighting another drug problem...newborn addiction. Mountain States Health Alliance's Tennessee facilities reported a 31.3 percent increase in babies born addicted to drugs. Many of those cases involved prescription drugs and medications used to treat other drug addictions...

"A lot of times these patients have oxycontin abuse histories and they are doing the sebutex in order to try and do the right thing for themselves and to get themselves healthier...

Mountain States Health Alliance is also sending out a letter, endorsed by more than 80 doctors and healthcare professionals, to providers of prescription pain and addictive medications, asking for their cooperation and help, in cutting down on the number of drug addicted newborns.

Question, what are the actual base numbers? Prescription drug abuse is a massive problem in this region.