PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – A federal jury has convicted a Panama City resident of conspiring to manufacture more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, manufacturing more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, and possession of a sawed-off shotgun in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.
The verdict was announced by Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
In September 2011, Sara Mari Hoehn (24) and Sean Lamar Rainer (26), both from the greater Panama City area, were involved in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine out of a Panama City hotel.
The evidence at trial showed that Hoehn and Rainer set up a “shake and bake” methamphetamine laboratory at the Microtel Inn and Suites. The words “shake and bake” are a slang term for the process of making crystal methamphetamine without a heat source.
When Bay County Sheriff’s Office investigators entered the hotel room, they observed an active methamphetamine shake and bake laboratory, Rainer was holding a loaded Jennings .22 caliber handgun, and Hoehn was positioned within a few feet of a loaded Remington 12-gauge pump sawed-off shotgun.
Hoehn and Rainer were engaged in the process of cooking four bottles of methamphetamine upon the entry of law enforcement officers into the room.
As a result of the guilty verdict, Hoehn faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years to life in prison, a fine of up to $10,000,000, and not less than 5 years of supervised release on the methamphetamine charges.
For possessing a short-barreled shotgun in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, Hoehn faces an additional 10 years in prison, to be served consecutive to the 10 years on the methamphetamine conviction, a fine up to $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release.
Rainer, who pled guilty to his charges on February 15, 2012, faces a similar sentence.
The guilty verdict results from an investigation by agents of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Risinger prosecuted the case.