COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Seventeen people are facing indictments and threats of long prison sentences, following a federal drug bust in Cocke County.
Five suspects are accused of being part of a ring to deal crack cocaine.
Nine more people are charged in a separate, 23-count indictment.
Some members of the indicted group are facing federal gun charges, too.
Two people are charged with running a crack cocaine operation from a home in Dandridge since summer of 2007.
Two others were indicted seperately.
And one man pleaded guilty guilty to a federal firearm charges, along with the drug charges.
District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn says getting federal authorities involvement means habitual drug traffickers finally will face major sentences.
"We're going to do what we can to keep the people off the street for the longest period of time," he said. "We can do that with our counterparts in the federal system."
Maximum penalities include life in prison and fines up to $4 million.
Many of the accused are ex-cons, so they'll face even longer sentences this time.
Ronnie L. Davidson, 43
Daniel C. Ballinger, 25
Amanda Cureton, 26
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