April 19, 2013

Chatsworth man charged in meth trafficking busts

From Staff Reports

— A Chatsworth man is among more than a dozen people federal officials charged in what authorities said is a large meth trafficking organization operating in Tennessee and Georgia.

Anthony Long, 41, was charged with conspiring to distribute 50 or more grams of meth or 500 grams or more of a mixture containing meth. The penalty is at least 10 years in prison and up to a $4 million fine if the individual has no felony drug convictions. The parameters double if the person has been convicted of a felony drug charge before. It was not immediately known if Long has a prior felony drug conviction.

Others facing charges are Sarah McElhannon, 44, of Copperhill, Tenn.; Paula Price, 41, Jeremy Gamble, 42, Randy Greene, 48, and Paul Gribble, 48, all of Turtletown, Tenn.; Tracy Mason, 48, of McCaysville; Jose Manuel Juarez-Gonzalez, 37, of Ellenwood; Hector De La Torre, 50, of Atlanta; and Robin Welch, 42, of Copperhill, Tenn.

Others are Corey Welch, 39, of Copperhill, Tenn.; Dennis Glover, 60, of Ranger; Melinda Adams, 24, of McCaysville; and Mitchell Hughes, 38, of Farner, Tenn.

Trial has been set for June 25 in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.

Other arrests are pending, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and their names, charges and potential penalties will be released upon their initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge.

“The investigation leading to the indictment and subsequent arrests was conducted by agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and 10th Judicial District Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Bay will represent the United States at trial,” the release stated. “Members of the public are reminded that these are only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”