(01/12/2008)
A number of Roane County residents are facing lengthy prison terms for manufacturing meth.

A Spencer man has been sentenced to 70 months in prison for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine.

David Rhodes, 46, was sentenced Friday by Chief United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin after Rhodes pleaded guilty on Sept. 6, 2007, admitting to the federal drug charge.

The conviction is related to an investigation conducted by the West Virginia State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The investigation revealed that Rhodes had engaged in a large scale methamphetamine production ring in Roane County and the surrounding area from 2003 to September 2006, according to federal officials.

Other residents convicted as a result of this investigation were Robert Michael Depue, sentenced to 84 months in prison; Chadrick L. Rogers, sentenced to 96 months in prison; Clyde McQuain, sentenced to 78 months in prison; Daniel Richard Turner, sentenced to 106 months in prison, and Christopher Coe, sentenced to 60 months in prison.

The CUFFED Fugitive Task Force arrested Rhodes early last year and charged him with making and distributing meth.

He was arrested, at that time, with two other Roane residents, Jennifer Conley, 36, and Larry McCormick, 58, of Roane County.

Conley and McCormick were both charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Authorities said Rhodes has an "extensive criminal history" that includes making and distributing meth in the Spencer area.

In January, 2005, reports said Robert Michael DePue, then 26, of Gandeeville, pled guilty to conspiracy to manufacture meth and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.

DePue was charged with making more than five grams of meth in 2004.

Chadrick L. Rogers of Newton, had been indicted on three charges in connection with using or carrying a firearm, allegedly in relation to trafficking methamphetamine.

Rogers and others allegedly knowingly and intentionally manufactured a quantity of methamphetamine, according to the United States Court in the Southern District of West Virginia in Huntington.

The court said in count two, he "did knowingly use and carry and brandish a firearm," a J.P. Sauer and Sohn .357 magnum revolver, in relation to the drug trafficking crime.

Rogers allegedly possessed the firearm related to interstate commerce and possessed the firearm after he had been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

In 2004, the Times Record/Roane County Reporter, reported Clyde Earl McQuain, 50, and Kathern M. Craft, 39, were both charged with operating a clandestine drug lab after eight officers from three agencies entered their home at 6838 Clay Road.

Roane Sheriff Todd Cole said Craft was found in the basement where the lab was located. McQuain was in another part of the home.

Cole said items found in the home indicate the operation was not a new one. "It looked like they had been doing it for some time."

Cole said employees of two local businesses, Wal-Mart and Go-Mart, where items to manufacture methamphetamine were purchased, helped tip off police.

"Without their help, we wouldn't have gotten enough information to get a search warrant," said Cole, according to the paper.

The federal grand jurors also indicted a Roane County man, charging him with having methamphetamine ingredients and illegally having firearms. In 2006, officials said Christopher Coe, then 33, of Spencer, had the meth-making materials.

Grand jurors alleged Coe had a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol in his possession while manufacturing the drug, with six other guns in his possession, despite a March 2000 conviction for burglary in Marion County.

He had been ordered not to possess firearms as a felon.

The six jail sentences for meth making are among more than 100 investigations, arrests and convictions in Roane County.


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