published Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Federal meth conspiracy case set for trial June 7

Sixteen people from southern Tennessee have pleaded not guilty in a federal methamphetamine conspiracy case that could send them to prison for life if they are convicted.

The 16 defendants arrested in Lincoln County — men and women — entered the pleas at a Tuesday hearing where U.S. Magistrate Bill Carter told them they will go on trial June 7 in Chattanooga.

An indictment charges them with conspiring to manufacture and distribute meth and conspiring to possess and distribute pseudoephedrine to make the addictive stimulant.

Investigators declined comment.

The defendants who appeared before Carter all had government-funded attorneys appointed.

A statement by the U.S. attorney's office said 11 men and eight women were arrested Monday after a yearlong investigation.

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