JacksonSun.com  [ View Original Article ]

A Crockett County attorney and former judge appeared in U.S. District Court in Jackson on Thursday for sentencing following his guilty plea last year on a methamphetamine charge.

Shannon Jones testified at the sentencing hearing, saying once he started treatment for his drug addiction, it was a “relief” to have been discovered.

“I was ready to quit all the lying. It was a relief to be there. I was using pretty heavily,” he said.

Federal court Judge J. Daniel Breen sentenced Jones on Thursday to six months in prison and three years of supervised release, issued a $100 special assessment fee and ordered Jones to pay more than $3,300 in restitution to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Breen said Jones must continue to be subject to random drug screenings through his rehabilitation agreement with Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program and also is prohibited from owning firearms. He also must cooperate in the collection of his DNA, Breen said.

Jones, a former Crockett County General Sessions judge, pleaded guilty in October to a charge of conspiracy to manufacture and possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute. After hearing testimony from numerous experts and supporters of Jones, Breen dismissed all charges except for one count of conspiracy.

The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Jones’ law license after he pleaded guilty to the federal methamphetamine charge.

On Dec. 22, the Tennessee Supreme Court suspended Jones’ Tennessee law license “in light of his plea to a serious crime,” according to a news release from the court’s Board of Professional Responsibility.

During testimony presented at the sentencing hearing, Ted Rice of the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program said Jones contacted him a week after Jones was arrested in February 2011 to seek treatment for his addiction.

Jones was arrested Feb. 3, 2011, after officials from the Crockett County Sheriff’s Department said they found materials for making meth inside his home.

He initially faced state charges and pleaded not guilty. He was indicted in June on five federal charges related to meth manufacturing.

Jones was sent to a treatment facility in Middle Tennessee and consented to a three-year agreement, which includes daily check-ins with a third-party monitoring system and random drug screenings. Rice said so far, Jones has been in “strict compliance” with the agreement.

Robert Jones, Shannon’s father, said his son has moved back to his property in Crenshaw, Miss., to help on the farm. He said he can keep an eye on his son and anyone who may visit him. He said he would like to see his son return to the farm and continue to recover.