By Nathan Baker
A Carter County man pleaded not guilty to federal drug and weapons charges at his arraignment Monday in U.S. District Court in Greeneville.
Judge Dennis H. Inman appointed a public defender to represent Scottie Allen Birchfield, 39, in his four-count federal grand jury indictment on charges of methamphetamine manufacture, possession of equipment and materials used to manufacture methamphetamine, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug offense.
Birchfield was arrested on Sept. 4, 2012, by Carter County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Nick Andes after his girlfriend reported that Birchfield assaulted her in an attempt to prevent her from calling her mother.
The woman, who was five months pregnant at the time, said Birchfield twisted her arm and forced her to fall to the floor as he wrestled the cellphone out of her hand.
Officers located Birchfield and his van later at a business on U.S. Highway 19E.
According to the arresting officers, an active one-pot methamphetamine lab and a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun were found inside the van.
Birchfield’s case was transferred to U.S. District Court in March, when he was indicted on federal charges in the case.
He was again taken into custody by sheriff’s department officers on Friday and handed over to U.S. marshals.
During his short court appearance Monday, Birchfield was assigned a trial date of Aug. 7 with a plea bargain cut-off date of July 24.
Judge Inman remanded him to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until his detention hearing, scheduled for Thursday.