Jury Told Honeycutt Took No Ask Policy On Sales Of Iodine Used By Meth Cooks; Attorney Says He Is Not Guilty

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A prosecutor told a federal jury on Tuesday that Terry Honeycutt called police when "edgy" people began buying an iodine product in large numbers at the Brainerd Army Store. But he said he continued to sell large quantities of Polar Pure while taking a policy of "I don't ask. They don't tell."

However, defense attorney Chris Townley said Honeycutt was very open with law enforcement - even taking it upon himself to call the Chattanooga Police. He said federal authorities never gave him any policy guidelines or limitations on the sell of the Meth-making ingredient.

He said Terry Honeycutt was on salary and did not gain from a surge of income at the longtime Brainerd landmark. Prosecutor Jay Woods said the store made a $269,751 profit from Polar Ice in about two years.

His older brother, Tony Honeycutt, earlier pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to serve five months in federal prison and five months in home confinement. He also was required to make a $200,000 forfeiture.

Prosecutor Woods said when Terry Honeycutt called city police, he said, "I can't keep this product on the shelf."

The prosecutor said one container of Polar Pure purifies 500 gallons of water, but he said Brainerd Army Store customers were being sold 10-12 bottles a time and as much as a case.

He said the store sold only two bottles of the product in 2007, but had sold 21,000 bottles by the end of 2010.

The prosecutor said an undercover agent was able to freely buy Polar Pure at the store. 

Judge Sandy Mattice is presiding over the trial where Honeycutt is facing a 14-count indictment.

Sgt. Daniel Jones, an undercover narcotics officer,  said he was one of many customers who bought the water purification product from the Brainerd Army Store. Polar Pure contains crystal iodine, a substance needed by meth cooks.

When Sgt. Jones went into the store undercover, he said he "wanted to get to the baseline of what was going on." He was given this task after Honeycutt's phone call to police. He said while he was undercover, he used a fake name and changed his appearance. He grew out his beard and dressed in "dirty clothing."

He said his goals were to see if the Honeycutts would sell iodine to him and to see who else was going in and out of the store. He said often customers purchasing Polar Pure could be followed to a meth lab. He said one customer, Jerry Lawson, even had an active meth lab in his car.

Sergeant Jones said over time he increased the amounts he bought at any one time, but Honeycutt never questioned him. He said the Polar Pure was not advertised and was kept behind the front counter; only people that asked for it specifically were able to buy it.

He said eventually, all he had to say was "I need some iodine" or "I need four more," and Honeycutt would get him what he needed.

While undercover, he also went through the trash from Brainerd Army Store. He said at one point, he found the receipts for what totaled to be 99 bottles of purchased Polar Pure. He said, "They sold enough to purify all the water at the Tennessee Aquarium." And, this was only a week's worth of purchases.

The trial continues Wednesday.

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