The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently announced that it had brought down a cocaine ring that has been operating out of Knoxville. It is reported that the drug ring trafficked more than $17 million in drugs and distributed more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and 280 grams of crack cocaine.
Involved in the drug trafficking ring was 21 residents in Knoxville. A federal grand injury, through a 58-count indictment, charged the conspirators with a variety of money laundering charges, gun charges, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine charges, said U.S. Attorney William Killian.
One of the accused, Geyer Deleon, is charged with possessing a firearm within a drug trafficking crime. If convicted, he faces a prison term from 5 years to life, as well as a fine of up to $250,000. Other members of the crime ring face similar charges related to drug possession, drug trafficking, firearms possession, and distribution charges.
All 21 members appeared before U.S. magistrates and all pled guilty on the charges within the indictment. All members were ordered held on bond pending their trail, which has been set for February 11 in Knoxville’s U.S. District Court.
In addition to the DEA, a number of law enforcement agencies participated in this case, including the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, the Oak Ridge Police Department, the Roane County Sheriff’s Department, and the Clinton Police Department. Federal agencies that participated include the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive, and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)
In convicted, the accused may face prison terms of at least 10 years and as long as life in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10 million.