A Tennessee convicted murderer was already set to serve the rest of his life behind bars. Now, he will for sure never be free after dealing drugs while in lock up.
Recently, United States District Court Judge J. Ronnie Greer sentenced Charles Elsea Jr., 44, to life in federal prison for running a meth ring behind prison walls.
After a six-day trial, Elsea was found guilty and convicted by a jury of conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The investigation involved multiple federal, state and local law enforcement agencies within a 5-year period, reported Local 3 News.
Though Elsea was already serving a prison sentence for a 1996 first-degree murder in Hamilton County, the defendant remained relevant within the Tennessee state prison walls.
Over the years, Elsea rose to the rank of “Brotherhood Forever”, a notorious prison gang, also known as the Tennessee Aryan Brotherhood, to become its state president. With such influence, the defendant trafficked drugs in prison via contraband cellphones to conduct business outside the prison walls.
Elsea trafficked multiple kilos of methamphetamine deals involving narcotics being transported across state lines between California and Arizona, federal prosecutors said.
Then, the defendant and other conspirators utilized the drug proceeds to build multiple marijuana grow houses within Tennessee and outside its borders. In addition, during Elsea’s court case, the defendant was in communication with others via the jail’s video system about growing two marijuana grow houses.
Greer sentenced Elsea to pay a $1,263,490 restitution in consideration of the defendant's illegal drug proceeds of over 56 kilos of methamphetamine.