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Lawyer suspended for distributing pseudoephedrine

July 10, 2015

A South Bend attorney who pleaded guilty to federal charges that she supplied a key ingredient to members of a meth ring has been suspended from the practice of law for three years.

The Indiana Supreme Court suspended Tenneil E. Selner for three years without automatic reinstatement in In the Matter of: Tenneil E. Selner, 71S00-1402-DI-96. Justices settled 4-1 on the discipline, but Justice Brent Dickson dissented and would have rejected a conditional agreement between Selner and the Disciplinary Commission. Dickson said he believed Selner “demonstrated unfitness to reasonably represent, advise, and serve future clients.”

Selner, 35, pleaded guilty in October 2013 to a single federal count of distribution of pseudoephedrine, having been ordered into federal detention two months earlier. She faced three counts in a federal grand jury indictment filed in 2012.

In exchange for Selner’s plea, the government dropped charges that she conspired to manufacture meth and that she manufactured a substance that contained meth. She was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison, and according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Selner was released to probation in November 2014.

Selner “admitted purchasing pseudoephedrine four times at different drug stores and then providing the pseudoephedrine to two other individuals, allowing those individuals to evade the identification statutes governing the purchase of pseudoephedrine,” according the court opinion.

One of those people, Jason Buzzard of Plymouth, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison on charges of conspiracy to manufacture meth, according to federal court records.

Justices wrote Selner “actively engaged herself in the introduction of a controlled substance into a marketplace occupied by current and future victims of a devastating addiction. It should go without saying that such misconduct warrants severe discipline.”

The federal government recommended a sentence on the lower range of guidelines incorporating treatment, followed by supervised release. A sentencing memorandum noted Selner had a prior criminal record with three misdemeanor convictions, six other contacts with the legal system, and “a severe history of substance abuse.”

Selner was admitted to practice in 2006 and had no prior disciplinary history, according to the Indiana Roll of Attorneys.

 

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