Knoxville federal grand jury indicts 17 people in meth conspiracy

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A federal grand jury in Knoxville returned a seven-count indictment against seventeen people for their roles in the distribution of methamphetamine.

The indictment alleges the 17 people distributed more than 50 grams of meth in East Tennessee and elsewhere. Keith Bird, Daniel Hixon, James Haynes and Michael Smith were also charged with one count of possession of a firearm. Bird was also charged with two counts of distributing five grams or more of methamphetamine.

  • Keith L. Bird, a.k.a. “Dirty Bird,” 37, of Friendsville, Tennessee
  • Daniel Hixon, 32, of Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • James Haynes, a.k.a.“Haun,” 28, of Norcross, Georgia
  • Christopher Mitchell, a.k.a. “Banjo,” 30, of Maryville, Tennessee
  • Michael Smith, 32, of Norcross, Georgia
  • Steve Bartholomew, a.k.a. “Trigger,” 50, of Louisville, Tennessee
  • Samuel Higgins, a.k.a. “Sambo,” 25, of Maryville, Tennessee
  • Jeremiah Higgins, 24, of Maryville, Tennessee
  • Dennis Clark, a.k.a. “Big Brother,” 30, of Philadelphia, Tennessee
  • Ashley Morris-Casebolt, 31, of Lenoir City, Tennessee
  • Chadwick Condry, 44, of Maryville, Tennessee
  • Thomas Freeman, 43, of Greenback, Tennessee
  • William Norman, 42, of Rocky Top, Tennessee
  • George Nicholas Bailey, 38, of Maryville, Tennessee
  • John Shane Bailey, 44, of Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Burt Cable, 46, of Maryville, Tennessee
  • Shannon Kirby, 49, of Friendsville, Tennessee

If convicted of the methamphetamine conspiracy charge, each faces a minimum mandatory term of imprisonment of at least 10 years and up to life, at least five years of supervised release, a fine of up to $10,000,000, any applicable forfeiture, and a $100 special assessment.

The punishment for the firearm charges returned against Bird, Hixon, Haynes, and Smith is a minimum mandatory term of at least five years and up to life in prison, which must be served consecutively to any other prison term imposed, up to five years supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, and a $100 special assessment. If convicted of the two methamphetamine distribution counts, Bird also faces a minimum mandatory sentence of at least five and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release, a fine of up to $5,000,000, any applicable forfeiture, and a $100 special assessment.

A trial date was set for August 1 in Knoxville.