A federal grand jury in Greeneville on Tuesday indicted McCray, 35, and Lawson, 33, both of whom are convicted felons, for conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of crystal meth in unrelated federal prosecutions headed by Mexican nationals who have no connection to each other.
The lead law enforcement agencies in both federal prosecutions are the Hamblen County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI. Lt. Gene Watson, who leads HCSD narcotics investigations, is a member of the FBI’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area task force.
The Mexican national who allegedly supplied McCray is named Osvaldo Sanchez, who has four known aliases and lived in Jefferson County. Sanchez was charged with felony meth possession in Jefferson County.
The grand jury also indicted McCray for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense, which could add five years to his prison sentence if he’s found guilty of both offenses. McCray allegedly was holding 4 ounces of cartel-grade crystal meth when he was arrested by HCSD narcotics investigators in February.
Ildefonso Bautista Nogales was Lawson’s alleged supplier, according to the indictment. Lawson allegedly had 45 grams of crystal meth hidden in a body cavity when she was taken into custody in late February. Lawson also allegedly sold to an informant.
Both cases are elective federal prosecutions. Federal prosecutors typically don’t accept cases unless the evidence is extremely compelling. None of the defendants had made their initial appearances in federal court by press time.