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April 15, 2013

Drug dealer sentenced to 20 years

Former Gun Barrel City man punishment hearing took place April 8

Athens — Kevin Ray Rust, 38, formerly of Gun Barrel City, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday, April 8, 2013 for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.

Rust was sentenced by Judge Dan Moore of the 173rd Judicial District Court after a punishment hearing took place that afternoon.

Assistant District Attorneys Nancy Rumor and Justin Weiner prosecuted the case on behalf of Scott McKee’s District Attorney’s Office.

Rust was convicted earlier this year by a Henderson County Jury that took only four minutes to deliver a verdict.  The swift verdict came at the conclusion of a trial taking place in the 173rd Judicial District Court with Judge Dan Moore presiding. 

In his closing argument, ADA Weiner said: “In his closing statements at trial, the defense attorney argued that it didn’t matter what the jury did, because (that) would not make a difference.  I could not have been more proud of our citizens on the jury that came back so quickly with a verdict in four minutes. It should send a clear message that Henderson County jurors are not willing to put up with drug dealers in our community.” 

ADA Rumar followed up by adding: “If we don’t come down hard on drug dealers like Rust, then they will just look at a short prison sentence as simply the cost of doing business.”

At trial, the jury heard testimony that shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2011, a search warrant was executed on Rust’s residence.  Entry was made into the home, and Rust was found in the hallway leading from his bedroom. Inside the closet in Rust’s bedroom, members of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Offices’ Narcotics Task force discovered what appeared to be a business setup.  But this wasn’t just any small business. Rust had a desk and shelves filled with narcotics, distribution supplies and paraphernalia.

Among the various illegal substances that were found were methamphetamine in powder and crystal form, marijuana, and several different types of suspected narcotic pills. The closet contained every tool necessary to be a successful drug dealer, including scales, marijuana grinders, one-hit boxes, razors used to apportion methamphetamines, and over 50 brand-new little baggies.

Additionally, several baggies were found pre-packaged with methamphetamines ready to be purchased. 

A safe was even found on top of the desk which stored a large amount of cash, drugs and a little black notebook. 

The notebook served as a buy/sell log listing the names of Rust’s clients, and the amounts they owed, or had paid him. 

A cell phone was recovered from the closet which contained multiple pictures of stacks of money that had been spread out for display.  Other photos revealed significant amounts of drugs on a tray found in Rust’s closet.

District Attorney Scott McKee thanked Sheriff Ray Nutt and his Henderson County task force, and indicated that his office will continue to vigorously prosecute those that make and distribute meth and other illegal drugs in our county. 

“We have come a long way in the past four years,”  said McKee.  “However, we cannot let our guards down when it comes to rooting out those that poison our community with dangerous narcotics.”

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