U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Government Website

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Safely connect using HTTPS

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
  2. News Room
  3. Tennessee Man Sentenced to Over 23 Years for Meth, Firearm Convictions

Tennessee Man Sentenced to Over 23 Years for Meth, Firearm Convictions

Release Date: May 2, 2024

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – A Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Nashville investigation has led to the sentencing of a Tennessee man for conspiracy to distribute and possession of methamphetamine and firearm possession while in the act of trafficking narcotics.

On April 29, Michael Wayne Bentley III, 28, of Gray, was sentenced to 284 months of imprisonment by the Judge J. Ronnie Greer in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Greeneville. Following his incarceration, Bentley will be on supervised release for five years.

“The meticulous investigative work by our special agents, including the work by our law enforcement partners with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Second Judicial Drug Task Force, led to this successful sentencing,” said HSI Nashville Special Agent in Charge Rana Saoud. “The defendant will now answer for his actions of peddling poison in our communities.”

On Dec. 14, 2023, following a three-day jury trial, Bentley was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, attempting to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, and using, carrying, and/or brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense.

The evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Bentley arranged to receive deliveries of methamphetamine to the Kingsport area via the U.S. Postal Service from a source of supply in Mexico. Law enforcement authorities intercepted one postal package containing more than 894 grams of methamphetamine.

Approximately three weeks later, authorities intercepted another package containing more than 839 grams of methamphetamine. That package was addressed to Bentley’s grandparents’ residence. Agents replaced the methamphetamine in the second package with items of a similar weight and the package was delivered. Agents observed Bentley’s grandmother accepting the package shortly before Bentley arrived.

After Bentley left the residence, agents approached and attempted to arrest him. He pointed a firearm at them and fled on foot; the agents pursued him. During the chase, Bentley again pointed his firearm at them. Two agents discharged their firearms toward Bentley, who was not injured. He was then taken into custody.

During a post-arrest interview, Bentley admitted that he had been receiving methamphetamine through the U.S. mail and distributing it. He also admitted that he had acquired the firearm for protection from other drug dealers.

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee Francis M. Hamilton III, Saoud, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Atlanta Inspector in Charge Tommy D. Coke made the announcement.

This investigation was led by HSI Special Agent John Bulla. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Emily Swecker and B. Todd Martin represented the government.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multiagency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Last Updated: 05/02/2024
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content