Knoxville, Tenn. – On September 24, 2020, the United States Attorney’s Office filed a federal complaint charging two individuals, Michael Allen Hill, 45, and Heavyn Breanne Thomas, 23, both from Knoxville, TN, with conspiracy to distribute 400 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, one kilogram or more of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, and 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. A trial date has not been set.
If convicted of this drug trafficking conspiracy, the defendants face mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment of 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 investigation was conducted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and the Organized Retail Crime Unit, HIDTA’s Drug Related Death Task Force, and the Knox County Regional Forensics Center. On September 23, 2020, during the execution of a search warrant, officers, assisted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, seized approximately 972 grams of a brown powdery substance of suspected heroin, 603 grams of a white powdery block-like substance suspected to be a heroin-fentanyl mixture, 865 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine, multiple firearms, drug paraphernalia, and $51,950 in U.S. currency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent N. Jones will represent the United States.
Today, the United States continues to face an unprecedented drug epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 67,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2018. Many of these deaths are attributed to the increased abuse of potent and dangerous synthetic opioids like fentanyl. These charges are the result of investigations supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) under the Attorney General-led Synthetic Opioid Surge (SOS)/Special Operations Division (SOD) Project Clean Sweep. This initiative seeks to reduce the supply of synthetic opioids in "hot spot" areas previously identified by the Attorney General of the United States, thereby reducing drug overdoses and drug overdose deaths, and identify wholesale distribution networks and sources of supply operating nationally and internationally.
Members of the public are reminded that the complaint in this case only constitutes a charge against these two individuals and that every person is presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.