Woman Who Helped Set Up Polk County Drug Ring Gets 11 Years, 3 Months in Federal Prison

Monday, June 16, 2014

A woman agents say helped set up a Polk County drug ring was sentenced on Monday to serve 11 years and three months in federal prison.

Sarah McElhannon appeared before Federal Judge Sandy Mattice.

She initially was facing a sentencing range of 157-188 months.  However, she got a reduction based on expected sentence cuts under the Fair Sentence Act. She also got a reduction when Judge Mattice said the government had not proven that she knew that guns were involved in the drug activity.

Attorney Graham Swafford said Ms. McElhannon never carried a gun or saw anyone else involved in the conspiracy with a gun during drug-buying trips to Atlanta.

He did acknowledge that she connected Robin and Corey Welch with a drug supplier at a trailer park outside Atlanta.

Ms. McElhannon would get a share of the meth for her personal use, it was stated.

Attorney Swafford said he did not like some of his clients, but he called the 44-year-old Ms. McElhannon  "a sweet little girl.".

Prosecutor Terra Bay said Ms. McElhannon had 16 prior convictions, including two drug felony counts.


Tom Graves Says Trump’s Budget Is Impressive And Honest

Tom Graves issued the following statement on President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal, A New Foundation for American Greatness:  “The president’s budget proposal is impressive. He’s keeping his campaign promises, and also being very honest with Americans about what it takes to balance the budget. Many decisions are hard, but the president has offered new ... (click for more)

Couple Charged In String Of Hold-Ups At Local Convenience Stores

Police have charged an Athens, Tn., man and his girlfriend with armed robberies on two successive days at Lee Highway convenience stores as well as one in East Ridge and two in Catoosa County, Ga. The spree by Payton Chase Cleveland, 22, and Bailey Kristen Roddy, 20, of Ringgold came to an end with their arrest in Chattanooga on Sunday. Police said Cleveland pulled a pistol ... (click for more)

Tennessee Business Expansions On Rise Across State

In 2016, Tennessee was named State of the Year for Economic Development by Southern Business & Development Magazine based on project totals and the variety of industries that invested in the state and created jobs. To a great extent, Bradley and Polk Counties have benefited from that investment.   From February 2015 to February 2016, Cleveland/Bradley County led the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Public Defender And The Mental Health Court

I am holding in my hand a list of the names of 50 very real people who cost the taxpayers of Hamilton County a combined $3,037.090 in incarceration charges before July 2015. These people live in our county and I dare say it is not completely their fault that they were put in the county jail. Each has a professionally-diagnosed mental illness and today, most regretfully, the County ... (click for more)

Lennex Walker Wins A-AA State Pentathlon

MURFREESBORO -- The final Spring Fling is off to a roaring start for CSAS senior Lennex Walker. The most decorated track and field athlete ever for the Lady Patriots, Walker got the ball rolling with a victory in the Class A-AA Pentahlon at the Dean Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium Monday afternoon by winning three of the five events and finishing first with 3,306 points. Unicoi ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Reaches Class A/AA State Soccer Tournament

The setting was nothing new for the seven seniors on the Boyd-Buchanan boys’ soccer team, but this time the Bucs got to celebrate a different outcome.   Playing in their fourth consecutive Class A/AA state sectional, the Bucs put three years of heartbreak behind them by earning a 1-0 victory over Merrol Hyde and a trip to this week’s state tournament in Murfreesboro. ... (click for more)