Note: This story was updated at 4:10 p.m.
CLINTON—Most of the defendants indicted in two cocaine conspiracies that were announced this month pleaded not guilty during arraignments in Anderson County Criminal Court in Clinton on Friday, officials said.
Trial dates have already been set, Seventh District Attorney General Dave Clark said. The trial date for the defendants charged in a Knoxville conspiracy is July 2017. The trial date for those charged in an Oak Ridge conspiracy is September 2017.
Officials said there were 34 conspiracy-related arraignments scheduled for 32 defendants in Anderson County Criminal Court on Friday morning.
Almost all of the defendants scheduled to appear on conspiracy-related charges on Friday were indicted by the Anderson County Grand Jury on May 3 in two alleged plots to manufacture, distribute, and sell 300 grams or more of cocaine last year. They were also indicted on charges of allegedly conspiring to manufacture, distribute, and sell more than 0.5 gram of cocaine in a school zone. Each of those defendants is facing eight charges. One conspiracy allegedly involved 24 people, and the second allegedly involved 11. Two of the defendants were named in both conspiracies.
Some of the defendants are also facing more drug-related charges. [Read more…]