Hamblen County resident Dustin Joel Rickard, who was arrested in December 2018 on drug and firearms charges, will not contest related federal charges, according to court documents.
Rickard, 31, indicated last week he will plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 5 grams of crystal meth and possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offense. Rickard is currently incarcerated in the Hamblen County Jail.
On Dec. 10, narcotics investigators with the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at Rickard’s Sulphur Springs Road residence and confiscated 6.8 grams of crystal meth and $2,577 in suspected drug-sales proceeds, but that wouldn’t be the last time he would be targeted, according to his plea agreement.
On June 3, Hamblen County narcotics investigators used a confidential informant to buy 7.1 grams of meth from the defendant. When they returned to his home eight days later with a search warrant, they confiscated 19 grams of meth, a Taurus .45-caliber pistol and $744 in cash.
Defendants convicted of selling more than 5 grams of meth typically face a five-year minimum-mandatory federal prison term. The firearm charge typically means a consecutive five-year prison sentence.
Also last week, Morristown resident Rasheed Darnell Linder, 26, was indicted by a federal grand jury for being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition and possessing ammunition by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. The charges stem from a May 22 incident reported at Buddy’s Bar-B-Q on West Andrew Johnson Highway, an establishment from which he’d been banned.
Linder, who was convicted of aggravated burglary in 2015, allegedly threatened to assault the restaurant manager and get a gun, according to an arrest warrant. The .22-caliber ammunition was confiscated on the same day, according to the indictment.
Hawkins County resident Justin Robert Feagins, who allegedly shot a man at the Rogersville Comfort Inn in September 2018, was also indicted by a federal grand jury in Greeneville for being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition.
Law enforcement officials did not locate the .380-caliber handgun he allegedly used to shoot a man named Cody Bridgewater, but they did find ammunition. Feagins, 27, spent 16 days on the run before he was taken into custody.
Two people arrested in Jefferson County in April, Nathanael Martinez Lopez and Jennelle Salcedo, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville for conspiracy to distribute heroin, according to a bare-bones indictment unsealed on Friday. The grand jury indicted Lopez and Salcedo on June 18.
The indictment does not indicate how much heroin the defendants were allegedly holding, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan S. Kirk indicated in a court filing the government intends to seize the $22,720 in cash they allegedly were holding.
Lopez will remain in custody until the case is adjudicated. Salcedo was released on a personal-recognizance bond with orders to remain in East Tennessee. It appears they are U.S. citizens as no embassy-notification documents have been filed in their case.