Two men, described by Sheriff Patrick Ray as major marijuana dealers in this area, are going to be in federal prison for several years after being sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.
U.S. District Judge J. Alan Edgar sentenced 51 year old Jeffory Carl Young of Short Mountain Road, Woodbury to 224 months (18 years and 6 months), of which he must serve 85% or 15 years and 8 months. Young was fined $15,000 and must undergo drug rehabilitation while in prison. Upon his release, he will be on supervised federal probation for eight years.
54 year old Morris Edward Roller of Lance Road, McMinnville received a sentence of 200 months (16 years and 6 months) of which he must serve 85% or 14 years and one month. He was fined $10,000 and must undergo drug rehabilitation while in prison. Upon his release, Roller will be on supervised federal probation for four years.
In late January and early February, Young and Roller stood trial and were found guilty on all charges in a 20 count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in May, 2006.
The two men have been incarcerated since their arrests.
Following the trial, the defendants agreed to forfeit 1,000 acres of property they own jointly in DeKalb and Cannon County, with an estimated value of $1.7 million dollars. The property will be sold at auction by the U.S. Marshal's Service at a later date.
Both men were found guilty on a charge that \"they did conspire to manufacture 100 to 1,000 marijuana plants, a controlled substance, from at least 1992 until May, 2006\".
Roller was convicted on nine counts of marijuana distribution on the following dates: January 19th, January 30th, February 18th, July 21st, September 15th, and November 17th in the year 2004, on March 2nd and December 29th in the year 2005, and on May 24th, 2006.
Roller was also found guilty of using a communication facility (telephone) to facilitate the distribution of marijuana on the following dates: September 29th, October 4th, October 5th, and December 21st, 2005.
The jury found Young guilty of aiding and abetting another person in the possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute on August 27th, 2004 and January 31st, 2006
Young was also convicted on charges that he used a telephone to facilitate the distribution of marijuana on December 21st, 2005, January 26th and January 31st, 2006 and twice on December 12th, 2005.
The men, business partners, operated farmland on the Warren-Cannon County line.
The case stems from an undercover investigation by the Warren County Sheriff's Department, the Southeastern Drug Enforcement Agency, the Middle Tennessee Drug Enforcement Agency, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Agency, and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
Officers say they made many undercover buys leading up to the raids in May, 2006.
During the arrest in May, authorities seized 31 parcels of land, equaling 1900 acres with a tax appraisal of $2.5 million; more than $10,000 in cash; and over ten pounds of marijuana.
Investigators also confiscated two farm tractors, a round hay baler, semi-truck, a ton truck, and a bob cat loader, all believed to have been purchased with proceeds from the sale of drugs.
The Tennessee Department of Revenue also levied a $60,000 tax against the two men.