Police use new technique to bust drug ring

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Suspects in a multi-million dollar cocaine and marijuana ring are now in jail.

Knoxville Police are calling it one of the biggest drug busts in recent memory, and for the first time, used wire-tapping during the investigation.

Officers not only confiscated millions of dollars in drugs, but also $70,000 in cash.

In all, 31 people were indicted as part of the ring in Knoxville.

Police started looking into this group in 2010.

Officers tell us four people would smuggle pot, 70 pounds at a time, from California. Then, they would sell it to local dealers. The dealers would then sell to users.

As for the cocaine, cops say other members of this network would bring it in from Atlanta by the kilo, sometimes through the mail. They sold in parks and near local schools.

Pills were also discovered to be involved during the investigation.

After two years police finally got all the evidence they need. Police say the operation was so big, it took officers 12 cars to transport all of the drugs

29 of the indicted are now behind bars, but two still on the run.

Investigators believed they've put a major dent in Knoxville's drug trade.

"It's not a couple guys deciding to sell dope on the street. And considering we have three cities we know of involved, sophisticated ring," said KPD Chief David Rausch.

The trial for the people involved is scheduled for April.

If found guilty, each one of them could get 25 years in prison and up to half a million dollars in fines.

The following is a list of all the suspects:

Matthew Eric Bowling
Chiquata Ceketa Burks
Kristian Travis Cummings
Sanford Brett Cummings
Taurus Lemar Dunn
Jason Nathaniel Haun
Teshaun Levell Holloway
Zerick Jermaine Howell
Matthew Floyd Justice
Lewis Jermaine Maxwell
Nicholas James Mougani
Anthony Eugene Sanford
Frederick Allen Williams
Tiffany Marie Ault
Brady Chase Benton
Jason Theron Cotner
Bradley Hogue Crossley
Thomas Steven Davis
Robert Junior Matthews
Patrick Evan McAfee
William Allen Minnich
Richard Brandon Butler
Scott Derwin Cotner
Jonathan Wright Malone
Norman Dean Petty
Asher Wolford Freeman
John Matthew Galaher
Keith Antwan Turner


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