Information from WYSH Radio
Ten Tennessee state and local law enforcement agencies are among 19 dividing up $4 million seized during an investigation into a Mexican drug trafficking ring.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, information gained through wiretaps helped them identify and stop a semi driven by Armando Guzman Villegas and Javier Cruz-Ramirez as it headed along I-40 through East Tennessee. Searching the tractor-trailer, they found several pallets of shrink-wrapped bottled water. One of the shrink wrapped pallets, though, held more than $4 million in cash in about 200 duct-taped bundles.
Cruz-Ramirez has since pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting interstate transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises. He was sentenced to five years in prison, with three years of supervised release on top of it.
Villegas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and to aiding and abetting interstate transportation in aid of racketeering enterprises. He was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of supervised release after that.
Locally, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office and the Oak Ridge Police Department each received $69,813.93, while Blount Countyâ€™s Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force received $34,906.97.
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