Morristown crystal-meth dealer Erika L. Lawson apparently did something to help herself during a Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department-led investigation, according to court documents.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Pamela Reeves sentenced Lawson, 33, to 100 months in federal prison, 20 months fewer than the presumptive 10-year minimum-mandatory for defendants who plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of crystal meth.
What’s more, she accepted responsibility for selling more than 150 grams of meth, which can mean a quantity-related enhancement.
“She’s definitely an ounce dealer.” Lt. Gene Watson, lead narcotics investigator for the sheriff’s department, said following her arrest. “She sells multiple ounces a day.”
The prosecution and defense sentencing memorandums were filed under seal, but Lawson’s plea agreement suggests a possible reason she received a reduced sentence.
In January 2018, the same day HSCD narcotics investigators executed a search warrant at Lawson’s Meadowview Lane residence and confiscated 45 grams of meth she had hidden in a body cavity, she helped set up her supplier and codefendant, a Mexican national named Idelfonso Bautista Nogales, according to her plea agreement.
“Lawson agree to make a call and order two ounces of meth from Nogales,” the plea agreement states. “Later that same day, Nogales arrived at Lawson’s residence with approximately 57 grams of methamphetamine in a gift bag and was arrested.”
Reeves recommended that Lawson serve her time in a minimum-security federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia. She’ll be under court supervision for five years after she’s released. Nogales pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Also Monday, Hawkins County resident Zachary Gavin Matlock, who earlier pleaded guilty possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm by a drug user, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison, six months more than the lowest guidelines-range sentence.
Matlock was convicted of robbery in Hawkins County Criminal Court in 2010 and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2014, according to court documents. Matlock will serve his time in a federal lockup in Lexington, Kentucky, and will be under court supervision for three years after he’s released.
A Cocke County man, Douglas Gulley, who violated the term of his supervised release after he was given a three-year probationary sentence for setting a fire in the Cherokee National Forest, settled his revocation case on Monday with an agreement to serve seven months.
After finishing his prison term, Gulley will on supervised release for one year. Gulley was charged with DUI in Greene County in September 2017 and in November 2018, when his juvenile son was a passenger, according to court documents.