Pubdate: Tue, 05 Dec 2006
Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)
Copyright: 2006 The Knoxville News-Sentinel Co.
Author: Jamie Satterfield


53-Year-Old 'Sweet Lady' Has Run Crack House For Decade

It was justice meted out with a big dose of reluctance.

Faced with the prospects of putting a 53-year-old woman  behind bars
for more than 16 years, Senior U.S.  District Judge James H. Jarvis on
Monday was clearly  troubled.

"If you were a big burly man standing out there, this  would be so
much easier," Jarvis told Jamsey L. Foster.  "You're a sweet lady, but
I'm going to have to put you  in the penitentiary."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Winck was shedding no  tears for Foster,
however. He pushed for - and received  - a sentence of 196 months for

According to Winck, Foster has been running a crack  house in
Knoxville for a decade now. She's been raided  at least four times
since 1996. Each time, authorities  found crack.

Until now, however, Foster has avoided prison, racking  up
probationary terms in state court. That changed  when, last year, she
wound up facing federal charges  for a role in a drug conspiracy
linked to a massive  postal distribution network in which dope was
shipped  via mail from California.

"Her house was used as a crack house on a daily basis,"  Winck told
Jarvis. "Yes, she was a crack addict. But  she also sold crack out of
her house. That's been going  on for a decade. She's been a real
problem in the  community. It's got to stop."

Assistant Federal Defender Kim Tollison argued that  Foster was being
punished more harshly than others  involved in the conspiracy case,
including her  supplier.

"We feel like she ought to receive more of a  reduction," Tollison

Foster insisted she was not a crack dealer.

"I didn't sell the drugs," she said. "I let them use my  house to sell drugs."

But Winck pointed to a pre-sentence report that stated  Foster also
sold crack. Foster had conceded at the  hearing's start that the
report was accurate.

"I just got hooked up with the wrong people," Foster  said. "That's
all I can say."

Although Jarvis ultimately sided with Winck in his  sentencing
decision, the veteran judge held his nose in  doling out the hefty
prison term.

"She'll be my age when she gets out of prison," Jarvis  lamented.
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