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CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. — Sixteen people were indicted in a methamphetamine conspiracy investigation conducted by the Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Elizabethton Police Department Joint Drug Task Force, according to a press release from CCSO.

Following a two-year investigation codenamed “Operation Big Iron,” the agencies conducted a roundup primarily in the Roan Mountain area. Sheriff’s deputies and police officers began arresting suspects around noon and continued into the evening on July 15, assisted by ATF agents.

Suspects received charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine within a school zone, which carries a minimum 14-year sentence. Many of them will also receive various other charges including possession of stolen property, firearms possession or trafficking, and distribution of prescription narcotics, according to the release.

Deputies are continuing to effect more arrests, and investigators are continuing to work on additional charges. Eight suspects are currently in law enforcement custody.

List of suspects indicted with charges, according to CCSO:

  • Eddie Ray Miller – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Sale of Methamphetamine (three counts), Maintaining a Dwelling Where Narcotics are Sold
  • Phillip Hamilton Ray – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Sale of Methamphetamine
  • Lacey Lynn Johnson – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Delivery of Methamphetamine
  • Joseph William Gleason – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Sale of Methamphetamine
  • Teresa Lee Hampton – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Sale of Methamphetamine, Delivery of Methamphetamine, Maintaining a Dwelling Where Narcotics are Sold
  • Thomas Raymond Ward – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone
  • Melanie Oleta Oliver – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Sale of Methamphetamine (four counts), Maintaining a Dwelling Where Narcotics are Sold
  • Tammie Elaine Birchfield – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Sale of Methamphetamine
  • Troy Christopher Shell – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Sale of Methamphetamine, Delivery of Methamphetamine
  • Joseph Paul Ballard – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone
  • Christopher Harold Gibbs – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone

Jamie Scott Hardin – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone, Sale of Methamphetamine

  • Logan Seth Allen Storie – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone
  • Megan Marie Arnold – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone
  • Ryan Cain Dixon – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone
  • Cambrean Nicole Presnell – Conspiracy Meth Distribution within a School Zone

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