Justices will consider forfeiture dispute in drug case

Friday, December 9, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 50

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will decide whether a Tennessee man convicted for his role selling iodine water purification filters to methamphetamine makers can be required to forfeit nearly $70,000 in profits.

The justices said Friday they will hear an appeal from Terry Honeycutt, who helped sell more than 20,000 filters at his brother's Chattanooga hardware store. Prosecutors said police warned the brothers that the iodine was used by local meth cooks.

Honeycutt's brother pleaded guilty and agreed to forfeit $200,000 of the $270,000 in profits. But Terry Honeycutt argued that he shouldn't have to forfeit the rest since he didn't personally see any profits.

A federal district court sided with Honeycutt, but a federal appeals court reversed, saying everyone who joins a drug conspiracy can be required to give up profits.