Federal officials on Thursday announced they had dismantled a Knoxville-based cocaine ring that is accused of trafficking $17.5 million worth of drugs and distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine and 280 grams of crack cocaine.
A federal grand jury returned a 58-count indictment on Dec. 3 against 21 Knoxville residents, charging them with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and cocaine base, money laundering, and gun charges, U.S. Attorney William C. Killian said in a press release.
The 21 members of the alleged drug ring appeared in court before U.S. magistrate judges this week and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges in the indictment, Killian said. All of them have been ordered held without bond pending trial, which has been set for Feb. 11 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.
Among the law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation were the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, Clinton Police Department, Oak Ridge Police Department, and Roane County Sheriff’s Department, Killian said. [Read more…]