Longtime boyfriend and girlfriend Thomas Ray “Tommy Gun” Harris and Amanda Dawn Massengill are the latest alleged crystal-meth dealers are the latest to be transferred to federal court as a result of a criminal inquiry conducted by Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department narcotics investigators, according to court documents.
A federal grand jury in Greeneville indicted Harris, 40, and Massengill, 34, for possession with the intent to distribute more than 5 grams of crystal meth, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense and possession of a firearm by a convicted felony. The indictment was unsealed on Friday.
They have been in state custody since they were indicted in March, but their initial court appearances were delayed until today due to the coronavirus-related shutdown of the federal court system, according to Lt. Gene Watson, who heads up narcotics investigations for the sheriff’s department. They will be arraigned by video.
Watson said this morning that Harris and Massengill, who have been together for about 15 years but didn’t have a fixed, long-term address, were mid-level dealers who mostly sold ounces of crystal meth. They were mostly arrested on state charges by themselves, because one or the other was normally incarcerated, according to Watson.
They were together on April 1, 2019 when HCSD narcotics investigator confiscated more than a half-pound of marijuana and a loaded .357-caliber handgun, according to authorities.
As Harris and Massengill were publicly moving into the federal court system on Friday, Hawkins County crystal-meth dealer William Ashley Davis, 37, was moving on.
Davis, who earlier pleaded guilty to a 50-gram conspiracy, was sentenced to 162 months – the top-of-the-range punishment and 42 months more than the presumptive 10-year mandatory minimum. Davis’ prior convictions placed him the highest federal criminal-history category.
The turning point for Davis was March 4, 2019 when he led Third Judicial District Drug Task Force members on 100-mph-plus chase that occurred in two counties. During the high-speed pursuit, he or a passenger in his vehicle, codefendant Kourtnie Shaye Gilreath, were tossing out methamphetamine, according to his plea agreement.
Gilreath, who pleaded guilty to a 5-gram conspiracy, later reported they were returning from Knoxville, where they’d bought 2 ounces of meth, and that she had accompanied Davis to Ohio to purchase 5 ounces of meth from the alleged conspiracy leader, Charles Franklin “Tank” Wallace, his plea agreement states. Wallace has not filed a plea agreement.