Tennessee Man Receives Over 23 Years for Drug, Gun Charges

Michael Wayne Bentley was sentenced for methamphetamine distribution and firearm offenses.

In Greeneville, Tennessee, Michael Wayne Bentley, III, 28, from Gray, Tennessee, has been sentenced to 284 months in prison. The sentence was handed down by United States District Judge J. Ronnie Greer at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Greeneville. Following his incarceration, Bentley will undergo five years of supervised release.

The conviction came on December 14, 2023, after a jury found Bentley guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, in violation of federal statutes. Additionally, he was found guilty of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a drug trafficking offense.

Trial evidence revealed Bentley’s involvement in arranging methamphetamine deliveries to the Kingsport area from Mexico via the U.S. Postal Service. Law enforcement intercepted two postal packages directed to Bentley containing significant amounts of methamphetamine. An attempt to arrest Bentley led to an exchange where he brandished a firearm at agents, which resulted in agents discharging their weapons, though Bentley was not injured and was subsequently apprehended.

During the post-arrest interrogation, Bentley confessed to receiving methamphetamine through the mail and distributing it, mentioning he had obtained a firearm for protection against other drug dealers.

The case was announced by U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III of the Eastern District of Tennessee, along with Special Agent in Charge Rana M. Saoud of the United States Homeland Security Investigations, and Inspector in Charge Tommy D. Coke of the United States Postal Inspection Service. The investigation that led to Bentley’s indictment was a collaborative effort by Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Second Judicial Drug Task Force, spearheaded by HSI Special Agent John Bulla.

Assistant United States Attorneys Emily Swecker and B. Todd Martin represented the prosecution. This case was part of the broader efforts of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, which aim to combat high-level drug trafficking and related crimes through a multi-agency approach.

Source: Read Original Release

Kingsport Man Sentenced to Life for Fentanyl Distribution

Terrance Lamont Hines, a 42-year-old from Kingsport, Tennessee, received a life sentence for his involvement in distributing fentanyl, linked to a fatal overdose in 2020, underlining the severe legal consequences of drug trafficking and the ongoing efforts to combat the fentanyl crisis.