Feds Crack Georgia to East Tennessee Cocaine Operation

By: Rob Pratt Email
By: Rob Pratt Email

(WVLT) - A multi-million dollar Atlanta to East Tennessee drug operation is shut down.

Volunteer TV's Rob Pratt has new details on the bust.

Seven people are behind bars, and 61 kilograms of cocaine and $2 million dollars in cash are in a federal evidence locker instead of on our streets.

Federal investigators say the international cocaine pipeline brought drugs from Atlanta, through Loudon County, to East Knoxville.

The cocaine and crack cocaine then sold on our streets by a gang called the "Black Gangster Disciples."

Eastside residents say they're glad it's been busted.

For the police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors standing up front at a news conference telling us about operation gambler its a day to talk about law enforcement cooperation bringing good results.

But, for people like Yolonda McKinzie, who lives in one of the communities the cocaine may have been headed for, something even more important is at stake.

"This is my home, my neighborhood, where I live and I want it to stay safe," she said.

But are McKinzie and her East Knoxville neighbors any safer and does the operation make any real difference?

"It's going to make a big difference. If people feel like you are not going to do nothing, they'll keep on doing it. So you need to clean it up," said McKinzie.

Mary Parnell, who was out walking her grandson, is less enthusiastic.

"It's not stopping nothing, it's always going to be drugs," said Parnell.

Albert Barlow has seen a lot of change in East Knoxville in his 46 years as co-pastor of Knoxville Baptist Tabernacle.

He thinks a major bust like this one could send a message to at least a few dealers.

"Some people are more afraid of others when it comes to crime. Smaller actors and things of that nature would be more prone to back away from it," said Pastor Barlow.

Prosecutors say this investigation is not over.

As many as a dozen more indictments may follow.


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