One Honeycutt brother is set to go to trial, while the other has a "change of plea" hearing on Tuesday afternoon in the Brainerd Army Store case.
Terry Michael Honeycutt is due to go to trial on Oct. 8 in Federal Court on charges that a large amount of material used in meth production was sold at the store.
Tony Dewayne Honeycutt is scheduled to appear before Federal Magistrate Court Judge Bill Carter on a "rearraignment." In such cases, defendants typically change a not guilty plea to guilty on connection with a plea deal worked out with prosecutors.
Prosecutor Jay Woods is asking in a motion that retired DEA agent David Shelton be allowed to testify at the trial.
He said Terry Michael Honeycutt "by virtue of his not guilty plea, puts in question whether he was aware that he was selling or distributing a product, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe, that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine. The United States expects that the defendant will use an 'innocent owner' defense, namely that he was selling a legal product in a legal manner. Under these circumstances, expert testimony concerning whether the evidence against defendant is consistent with the distribution of iodine, in an unlawful manner, is admissible."
The prosecutor said, "As a result of this knowledge and his training and experience, Special Agent Shelton will testify to the following: One of the ways methamphetamine is manufactured in this area is by using a three-step ephedrine reduction method. This method uses ephedrine/pseudoephedrine, red phosphorous, and iodine. That is, the red phosphorous and iodine, when mixed with ephedrine, removes an oxygen atom from the ephedrine, thereby creating methamphetamine. This methamphetamine is contained in a sludge from which the methamphetamine has to be extracted. The final two steps in the manufacturing process – using substances like lye, brake fluid, muriatic acid, and aluminum foil – removes the actual methamphetamine from the sludge. Iodine is critical to this manufacturing process.
"Over the years, different iodine products have been used. Commercially prepared iodine bbs and flakes, available in some stores, will work in the process. The principal ingredients for this the Red Phosphorous, or “Red P,” method are ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, red phosphorus, and iodine (all classified by federal law as listed chemicals). There is a black market that has been established concerning all of these products. Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine can be obtained from cold and allergy medications containing this ingredient. Pursuant to federal and state law, products containing pseudoephedrine are kept behind the counter at pharmacies and purchasers must show a photo ID and sign a purchase log at the time of purchase.
"Additionally, these purchases of pseudoephedrine are tracked by the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, a program that Shelton was instrumental in developing. Because this limits the available of pseudoephedrine, methamphetamine manufacturers often obtain the assistance of numerous “smurfs” to purchase pseudoephedrine at multiple pharmacies to attempt to evade detection.
"The most common sources for red phosphorus are chemical supply companies or the striker plates from book matches or flares. Iodine can be found in various places, including chemical suppliers, veterinary supply stores, farm supply stores, or outdoor products stores (as in this case). The iodine can come in crystal, flake, pellet, or liquid form. The three preceding items, pseudoephedrine, red phosphorous, and iodine, all have a 'black market' associated with them and can be sold for great profit in the underground methamphetamine manufacturing world.
"Also, Agent Shelton is aware that the role of some individuals in a methamphetamine conspiracy will be to procure chemicals, such as iodine, and in return they will receive money or drugs for their efforts. Other chemicals and equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine can include lye, muriatic acid, aluminum foil, rock salt, Heet gas line anti-freeze, brake cleaner, Coleman fuel, acetone, tubing, glass jars, coffee pots, coffee filters, funnels, gasoline cans, and heat sources.
"Agent Shelton is familiar with the manufacture of methamphetamine and can describe the role that each of the products plays in the process. Based upon his training and experience (including interviews with over a thousand meth cooks), Agent Shelton can also extrapolate quantities of methamphetamine based upon the amounts of some of the chemicals (primarily Listed chemicals which includes iodine).
"Agent Shelton is familiar with the formula used by most meth cooks in this region, which includes the ratios of ephedrine, red phosphorous, and iodine. Recipes or formulas for manufacturing methamphetamine vary, but the most common formula used in the Eastern District of Tennessee is a ratio of 1:2:1 (1 part ephedrine/pseudoephedrine to 2 parts iodine to 1 part red phosphorus). Yields for methamphetamine may vary but generally range between 50% to 75% based upon the weight of the ephedrine/pseudoephedrine used. Frequently, methamphetamine manufacturers will be assisted by others in the cooking of meth, the procuring of supplies/chemicals, the cleanup of meth labs, or other tasks.
"Agent Shelton has also investigated numerous businesses or individuals who were selling or providing listed chemicals for the purchase of manufacturing methamphetamine. Many individuals who purchase these chemicals and equipment from businesses are users and addicts of the drug and may be under the influence of the drug at the purchases. Methamphetamine use and addiction can result in significant physical changes. Hands and fingers may be discolored, stained, or scarred from the manufacturing process. Weight loss, tooth decay, a chemical body odor, scabs, and sores may also be present. The demeanor of individuals on methamphetamine can be very noticeable. Individuals on the drug may display extreme anxiety, nervousness, paranoia, agitation, talkativeness, excitedness, and/or fewer inhibitions. Once these individuals find a ready source of supply for their chemicals, they will return frequently and make purchases that exceed reasonable use amounts.
"He has learned that many of the individuals employ unusual or out of the ordinary business practices in the selling/distribution of these chemicals. Also, Agent Shelton is aware that it is not uncommon in these businesses that a large proportion of the total sales of the business will be for the particular listed chemical being sold. Furthermore, Agent Shelton is aware that individuals who manufacture methamphetamine will share information with their conspirators, friends, and cohorts as to where to obtain listed chemicals and other items necessary for the production of methamphetamine."