GREENVILLE, Tenn. — A Winston-Salem man was found guilty in federal court in East Tennessee on charges he tried to distribute 10 pounds of methamphetamine.
A federal jury convicted Abel Martinez Tavera, 38, of Winston-Salem on May 6 of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine, possessing the drug with the intent to distribute it, and possessing a firearm in the furtherance of drug trafficking, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
The charges stemmed from an undercover operation in Greene County, Tenn., in March 2010. An undercover agent negotiated a 10 to 20 pound methamphetamine transaction from co-defendant Guadalupe Granado, the news release said. According to testimony during the trial, the methamphetamine was being manufactured in Winston-Salem.
Tavera was arrested May 14, 2010, after law-enforcement officers conducted traffic stops in Hamblen County, Tenn., after the drug deal happened. Officers found 10 pounds of methamphetamine in the bed of a Dodge Ram pickup truck under roofing nails and a 9 mm gun in a Chevrolet Cavalier. Officers had seen the two vehicles meeting at the same time as the drug transaction. Tavera was a passenger in the truck.
The drug seizure was the largest in the Eastern District of Tennessee and one of the largest in the state, the news release said.
Tavera is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 12 in U.S. District Court in Tennessee. He faces life in prison, $750,000 in fines and at least five years of supervised release.