Butch Chad Patterson, 37, of Esom Hill, apologized to his family — many of whom attended the hearing — and when being escorted out of the courtroom expressed his love to his family.
“We love you son,” a family member replied.
Patterson pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Rome to the possession and sale of at least 50 grams of methamphetamines in March.
According to court filings, Patterson sold several ounces of meth through a go-between to an informant working with federal and Alabama authorities in early 2009.
The case began in Alabama when the informant alerted the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office about information concerning the sale of meth and firearms in the area, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Jones said in court.
During a two-month period, sheriff’s investigators and later agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made several purchases of the drug from Patterson.
The judge recommended that Patterson, who was also using the drug, be sent to an intensive drug counseling program while incarcerated.