United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced that Timothy A. Cheatham has been sentenced to 15 years by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence following his guilty plea to charges that he conspired with intent to distribute methamphetamine in and around Brazil.
"This prosecution is just one example of how effective law enforcement efforts can be when we work as a team," Hogsett said. "This particular defendant terrorized his community for years, and now he won't walk the streets anywhere in the Wabash Valley again for a long, long time."
Cheatham was formally charged with two counts each of Class A felony dealing methamphetamine and Cass C felony possession of methamphetamine, along with one count of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance.
On Jan. 12, 2010, Cheatham, then 44, was arrested by members of the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Drug Enforcement Agency and the Putnam County Sheriff's Department without incident at his residence on an initial charge of Class A dealing methamphetamine.
Cheatham's alleged drug activities in Clay and Putnam counties had been the center of a joint, 18-month investigation by the three agencies.
Cheatham admitted his participation in the distribution of large quantities of crystal methamphetamine in the Brazil area, stating he had distributed more than four pounds of methamphetamine he received from individuals in Indianapolis.
According to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Lawrence also imposed five years supervised release following Cheatham's release from prison and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine.
Another major drug case with links to Cheatham was announced earlier this year. In February a federal grand jury indictment involving allegations of drug trafficking through a methamphetamine network resulted in the arrest of 19 individuals, including Cheatham's spouse.
"There is no question that some of the evidence developed in the prosecution of Timothy Cheatham was helpful and beneficial to the investigation that led to the indictment of the 19 individuals earlier this year," Hogsett said.