For the third time in the nine months, Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department narcotics investigators executed a search warrant at the Sulphur Springs Road residence of Dustin Joel Rickard on Tuesday, and for the third time confiscated crystal meth and firearms, according to authorities.

On Tuesday, Rickard, 31, allegedly was holding 19 grams of crystal meth, a .45-caliber handgun, ammunition, prescription drugs for which the defendant had no prescriptions and drug paraphernalia, according to HCSD Lt. Gene Watson, who leads narcotics investigations for the sheriff’s department.

Watson, who is traveling to Greeneville today for a sentencing of a Hamblen County crystal-meth dealer, says he will use the opportunity to speak with federal prosecutors about transferring Rickard’s case to U.S. District Court.

“I think the chances are pretty good,” Watson said this morning.

Rickard, who was out on bond when he was taken into custody on Tuesday, is being held in the Hamblen County Jail without bond. Rickard allegedly sold meth to an informant before HCSD authorities obtained the search warrant.

In the other searches, narcotics investigators found approximately 7.5 grams of meth, confiscated five firearms and a substantial amount of money. On Tuesday, $744 in suspected drug-sales proceeds was confiscated, according to Watson, who says the defendant has no legal employment.

In addition to the crystal-meth and prescription-drug charges, Rickard is also charged with possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, resisting arrest and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

A 16-year-old girl who is living with Rickard reported she smokes marijuana at the Sulphur Springs Road residence, and used methamphetamine last Friday, according to Watson. The detective says the sheriff’s department and the Department of Children’s Services are investigating.