KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- 20 people from Roane County are facing charges from a federal grand jury in a multi-county prescription painkiller and money laundering operation, according to the Dept. of Justice.
Those charged were told in that any deaths resulting from the use of the pills could lead to life sentences.
On Thursday, the following people were all charged, and all are from Roane County: 58-year-old John Goss, 59-year-old Eva McNelley, 30-year-old Joey Brewer, 37-year-old Christopher Carroll, 33-year-old Katrina Carroll, 35-year-old Jeffrey Fine, 41-year-old Amy Shillings, 31-year-old Russell Walters, 36-year-old Stephen Williams, 61-year-old Bobby Martin, 35-year Jeremiah Cooley, 29-year-old Richard Goldberg, 41-year-old James Luffman, 31-year-old Samuel Newcome, 36-year-old Montique Chandler, 22-year-old Tawny Michelle Inman, 40-year-old Debbie Stooksburg, 32-year-old Johnny Watts, 51-year-old Cynthia Wheeler and 49-year-old Timothy Wright.
A federal grand jury in Knoxville handed down the indictments to those 20, and three more people that are not in custody, on June 5th.
19 of those indicted pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday and Thursday to the charges, which include conspiracy to distribute and possess oxycodone and conspiracy to commit money laundering offenses.
The investigation was led by the FBI High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Task Force, as well as several officers and deputies from Knox Co., Roane Co., Loudon Co., Clinton and Harriman.
Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said the roundup will help make Roane County safer.
"We feel like it's going to impact the drug trafficking at a street level quite a bit and hopefully it will cut down on a lot of the theft and crime that's been going on throughout the county," said Stockton.