A relatively minor player in a major Hawkins County crystal-meth conspiracy was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison on Monday, 57 months short of the presumptive 120-month sentence for defendants who plead guilty to selling more than 50 grams of methamphetamine, according to court documents.
U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer recommended that Christopher Lee Pyles, 43, serve his time in a minimum-security prison in Petersburg, Virginia or Pensacola, Florida.
Pyles sold crystal meth to “pay bills” and implicated the No. 1 Hawkins County defendant, Edward Ray Walters, as one of his suppliers, according to Pyles’ plea agreement.
On three occasions in November 2017, Pyles sold small quantities of meth to informants. The following month, he debriefed with law enforcement, but he wasn’t ready to walk away from methamphetamine. The last straw for Pyles was when he dropped 3 grams of meth at the self check-out counter at the Rogersville Walmart, according to his plea agreement.
In an unrelated crystal-meth prosecution centered in Greene County, Jefferson County resident Oscar Orozco “Charlie” Blaco, who earlier pleaded guilty to a 50-gram conspiracy, received the standard 10-year sentence. Blaco, a U.S. citizen, admitted selling more than 1.5 kilograms of meth from an associate’s car lot on Highway 11-E in Greeneville, according to his plea agreement.
Blaco, 44, was the “right-hand man” of the lead defendant and former car lot owner, Juan Moreno Pantiga and former, his plea agreement states.