Reprinted with permission from The News Democrat, April 24, 2009
Operation Pivot Point netted federal drug charges for six individuals from Humphreys and surrounding counties. Nathan Griffith, Van Johnson, Josh Henry, Amanda Judd, Sara Pate, and Tammy Huddleston all face a minimum of ten years and some up to life in federal prison if convicted. They are all charged with conspiracy to distribute over five hundred grams of methamphetamine.
The operation was a joint effort by Humphreys County Sheriff’s Detective Wesley Hagler, Waverly Police Detective Tony Ahne, along with Special Agents from both the TBI and DEA. DEA Special Agent Vann Winn was instrumental in putting the cases together. According to Sheriff Chris Davis the investigation “took off when our local detectives got the attention of federal authorities by showing that Griffith and Henry were a part of a large conspiracy to manufacture and sell methamphetamine”. He said some of the components used to manufacture the “meth” were coming from out of state. “The federal charges should get the attention of anyone manufacturing or distributing methamphetamine” said David Daniel, Chief of Public Safety, Waverly. He explained that the Federal Criminal Court system is much different than the state system. A primary difference is in sentencing. Federal sentences are served day-for-day. “In other words ten years means ten years in a federal prison. We have formed a good working relationship with the DEA and are finding that many of our local cases meet the federal statute. We expect more federal cases in the near future,” Daniel said.
Detectives Hagler and Ahne also presented cases to a local Grand Jury earlier this month that resulted in the arrest of twenty-one people. Chief Daniel said, “most of the people were charged with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture”. He said detectives can prove the arrestees have all purchased “thousands” of grams of pseudoephedrine used to make methamphetamine. According to Sheriff Davis, “it has been a long investigation involving lots of time and effort.” Davis said, “this is what happens when law enforcement works together.” Both Daniel and Davis said they hoped the news of the federal cases would serve as a deterrent to anyone thinking of manufacturing or distributing illegal drugs.