A Cocke County woman, who earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and accepted responsibility for trafficking 9,530 milligrams of oxycodone and 6,900 milligrams of oxymorphone, left federal court on Wednesday with a probationary sentence, according to court documents.
Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Gregory Bowman recommended at least 18 months in federal prison for the defendant, Autumn Lynn Johnson, the No. 3 defendant in a seven-defendant conspiracy headed by Robert Dean McCabe, who has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Johnson, who remained free on bond following her arrest, was at McCabe’s residence on Granite Way in Newport on Jan. 9, 2018 when the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department and a Drug Enforcement Administration task force member executed a state search warrant.
Authorities found two empty prescription bottles belonging to Johnson that once contained 60 oxycodone pills and 60 oxymorphone pills. The prescriptions were filled 14 days before the raid, according to her plea agreement.
“(An unindicted woman) told officers that Robert McCabe was paying for (Johnson’s) monthly pain clinic visit, where she would obtain prescriptions for oxycodone and oxymorphone, and McCabe also paid for (Johnson’s) prescriptions and provided her transportation in exchange for a portion of the pills,” the plea agreement states.
McCabe’s cut was 40 percent, according to the plea agreement.
Johnson isn’t the first defendant in the case to walk with relatively light punishment.
Steven Larry Osicky was indicted on felony drug charges. He was factored out of the seven-defendant conspiracy and allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor painkiller-related offense. Last week, he was sentenced to the year he’d already served in federal custody.
In an unrelated federal drug prosecution being adjudicated in U.S. District Court in Greeneville, Rogersville resident Robert Jesse Estes on Wednesday indicated he will plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of crystal meth. Estes, 47, is the No. 30 defendant in a 44-defendant conspiracy allegedly headed by Greeneville resident William Samuel “Strap” Aloisio.
Estes and a codefendant, Marketta Rae Jarnigan, 26, allegedly sold crystal meth to an informant on three occasions in August 2016. When confronted with the evidence three months later, Estes flipped and identified two of his suppliers, according to his plea agreement.
In a case adjudicated in federal court in Knoxville, William Earl Hardy, a man who relocated to Jefferson County after serving 77 months in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, on Wednesday agreed to serve 10 more months behind bars to settle his revocation case.
That’s 11 months below the presumptive bottom-of-the range revocation sentence. Hardy will not be under court supervision when he’s released.
Hardy moved to East Tennessee in January 2017. Eight months later he was charged with domestic assault, possession of methamphetamine and marijuana and introducing drugs into the Jefferson County Jail following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend, according to an arrest petition.
Hardy has six prior drug-related convictions in Polk County, Florida, southwest of Orlando, according to the arrest petition.