Federal Judge Sandy Mattice on Monday sentenced Terry Honeycutt to serve five years for his role in selling a large amount of a key meth-making ingredient at the famiiy's Brainerd Army Store.
His attorney, Chris Townley, questioned the fairness of the sentence, noting that his brother, Tony Honeycutt got five months in prison and another five months of home confinement. He said Tony Honeycutt was an owner and manager, while Terry Honeycutt was on salary.
Prosecutor Jay Woods said Tony Honeycutt cooperated from the start, while Terry Honeycutt went to trial and still maintains his innocence. He said he was in charge of the inventory and knew that large amounts of Polar Pure were being sold. He said it was enough to produce 37 kilograms of meth over a period of two and a half years.
The prosecutor also said that Tony Honeycutt showed remorse from the start and was ready to quickly plead guilty. He said Terry Honeycutt had shown "absolutely no remorse."
Attorney Townley countered, "To sit here and say Tony had remorse from the start is garbage." He said he wanted to plead because his wife had cancer and his father had a stroke.
Attorney Townley said Terry Honeycutt called authorities to alert them of the large amount of sales of the product, but he said he was never told that the sales were illegal.
Judge Mattice went below the advisory guideline range of 97-121 months.
He told Terry Honeycutt, "In retrospect, it would probably have been better for you to take the deal." He said the government had twice "ratcheted up the charges" against him by filing superceding indictments. But he added that he had the right to plead not guilty and go to trial.
Prosecutor Woods stressed the harm of meth to many people and said Tennesssee has one of the worst meth problems in the country. He said that was because small groups were able to go out and gather the necessary ingredients.
The judge rejected arguments by attorney Townson regarding sentencing manipulation, saying that the arrest was withheld until stiffer guidelines were in place. Judge Mattice said, "I've worked with the agents. They're not that clever."