District Attorney General Dan Armstrong returned to a Hamblen Country grand jury on Monday and obtained two additional felony indictments against John Baskette for alleged crimes unrelated to his former position as county trustee, which adds additional legal burdens to the substantial weight he was already carrying.

The grand jury indicted Baskette for allegedly stealing more than $10,000 and writing a worthless check for more than $2,500. Baskette, accompanied by his defense attorney Richard Talley, surrendered at the Hamblen County Jail Tuesday afternoon. The former trustee was booked and released after posting a new $30,000 bond.

Baskette, who lives on Bentview Lane in Russellville, resigned as trustee on Sept. 13, 2019 after agreeing to plead guilty to job-related misdemeanors, a plea bargain that allowed him to keep nearly 20 years of accumulated state retirement. Those cases were investigated by the state comptroller’s office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The recent felony-theft and bad-check indictments appear similar to personal-business cases that are pending in Hamblen County Criminal Court.

On June 21, Baskette, 46, allegedly obtained $29,397 from a Hamblen County man. By Sunday, the day before Armstrong presented the case to the grand jury, the debt had not been repaid, according to the indictment.

On April 1, Baskette allegedly wrote an $8,474 check to Choice Seeds. The check was written on a bank account that had been closed, according to the indictment, which alleges other checks were outstanding on the same account when Baskette wrote the bad check to the seed business.

The lead law enforcement official in these and the other unadjudicated cases is Bob Ellis, a criminal investigator with the district attorney’s office. The most serious charge is theft over $60,000. Defendants convicted of that offense face sentences that range from eight to 12 years.

The cases against Baskette will be resolved soon, one way or the other. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on the latest charges on Jan. 31. He’s supposed to announce by Feb. 3 whether he intends to plead guilty to the older personal-business charges or take the matter to a jury. The trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 18.

Baskette, who was essentially Hamblen County government’s banker, also committed errors investing the county’s money, according to the state.

Auditors with the state comptroller’s office recently concluded that Baskette under-invested $14.33 million of taxpayers’ dollars prior to his resignation. Keeping money in accounts that drew zero interest or an interest rate substantially below 1% cost county government $255,000, according to the auditors.

Hamblen County Trustee Scotty Long says he has now invested the money at the highest possible interest rate.

In another significant takeaway from Monday’s grand jury, less than a week after the TBI announced that for the first time the number of crystal-meth lab analyses exceeded the number of marijuana submissions, it’s clear that Hamblen County is doing more than its part to tip the scales in favor of meth.

The grand jury indicted 31 defendants for meth, and 26 were indicted for meth-related felonies. The grand jury indicted just seven people for alleged marijuana possession or sales, and five of those had meth-related charges. One defendant, 33-year-old Nicholas Nivarro Nick, was indicted for aggravated assault, but his state meth case was recently transferred to federal court in Greeneville.

The others indicted Monday and their charges are:

Sherry Dalton, 54, Chasity Livesay, 26, and Toni Purkey, 36, two counts felony possession of meth, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Purkey was also indicted for driving on a revoked license, improper lane use and no insurance.

Tosha Myers, 34, two counts felony possession of meth, felony possession of oxycodone, possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a revoked license, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a revoked license.

Billy Bullard, 22, two counts felony possession of meth, possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony and illegal possession of alprazolam.

Joshua Pozzi, 35, felony possession of meth, illegal possession of a prescription amphetamine, two counts possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gustavo Reyes Palacio, 37, and Cissy Dee Thurman, 36, felony possession of meth, illegal possession of diazepam and Suboxone and possession of drug paraphernalia. Palacio was also indicted for driving on a revoked license.

Roy Short, 33, felony possession of meth, tampering with evidence and introducing contraband into jail.

George C. Grecu, 64, felony possession of meth, DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia, no insurance and violation of the registration law.

Briley C. Chapman, 22, felony possession of meth, simple possession of clonazepam, possession of drug paraphernalia and speeding.

David O. Conley, 39, felony possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a prohibited weapon and running a stop sign.

Raven Dawn Collins, 38, felony possession of meth, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

David Coffey, 38, felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Brandon A. Reece, 36, felony possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a revoked license.

James Allen Johnson, 41, felony possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of the state drug-free school-zone law.

Jessica Bailey, 26, felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Craig Barker, 40, felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Corey Linholm, 29, felony possession of meth, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Dustin S. Navarro-Wise, 24, felony possession of meth and simple possession of marijuana.

Brooke Mullins, 28, felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

William Stokes, 45, felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Ricky Swatzell, 46, felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Angela Swatzell, 40, felony possession of meth, possession of drug paraphernalia and violation of the light law.

Misty Whitaker, 38, felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Manuel Ortiz, 41, felony possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Adam P. Roxbury, 40, misdemeanor possession of meth, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal impersonation and violation of the open-container law.

Tiffany Speratos, 30, misdemeanor possession of meth, DUI, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts violation of an order of protection.

Brandon L. Price, 33, misdemeanor possession of meth, theft over $2,500 and driving on a revoked license.

Alexis Crabill, 20, misdemeanor possession of meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Cailin N. Smith, 35, misdemeanor possession of meth an introducing contraband into jail.

David Ramirez, 19, felony possession of marijuana, unlawful carrying of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, employing a firearm during a dangerous felony, criminal simulation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, driving on a suspended license, theft under $1,000 and speeding.

Amanda Dawn Massengill, 34, felony possession of cocaine, simple possession of marijuana and alprazolam, two counts apiece of possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a revoked license and driving left of the centerline.