Tuesday, February 17, 2010
Department of Justice
United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee
LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL OFFICERS AND FEDERAL PROSECUTOR HONORED FOR APPALACHIA HIDTA CASE OF THE YEAR
MORRISTOWN, Tenn—Morristown Police Department Officers, an FBI agent, a TBI agent, Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force Agents and an Assistant United States Attorneywere honored today for their work in the Appalachia HIDTA Case of the Year by Appalachia HIDTA Executive Director Frank Rapier, FBI Special Agent in Charge Rick Lambert, Morristown Police Chief Roger Overholt, and United States Attorney Russ Dedrick in a ceremony held in Morristown, Tennessee.
Receiving Spirit of HIDTA Awards at today’s ceremony were Morristown Police Department Officers Detective Chris Blair, Detective Mike Hurt, Detective Jack Everhart, and Detective Corporal Gary Bean; FBI AHIDTA Task Force Officers Hamblen County Deputy Mike Hayes and Morristown Police Officer Dwayne Collins; FBI Supervisory Special Agent Kevin Keithley; TBI Special Agent Carl Walker; Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Financial Analyst Karl Oroz; and, Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor. These officers were recognized for their joint work in a case which was the primary focus of the FBI's Appalachia HIDTA Task Force in Morristown since October 2006, and resulted in a July 14, 2009, federal indictment charging a total of 32 people, including Andrew Montgomery, a/k/a Black, from Atlanta, Georgia, on 103 separate counts. The defendants were all indicted on federal conspiracy charges involving the distribution and the possession with the intent to distribute large amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine within the Eastern District of Tennessee and elsewhere. In addition to the conspiracy charges, numerous defendants were also charged with money laundering offenses, possessing firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking and maintaining a residence for the purpose of manufacturing and/or storing crack cocaine. The indictment is filed as a public record at the United States District Court, Greeneville, Tennessee.
The indictment was the result of a multi-state, multi-agency investigation, which targeted a sophisticated drug trafficking and money laundering organization responsible for multiple kilogram amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine being supplied from the Atlanta, Georgia area through Mexican drug suppliers, and distributed in and around Morristown, Tennessee. Agencies involved with the investigation include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Johnson City, Tennessee; FBI’s HIDTA Task Force; Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force in Atlanta, Georgia; Morristown Police Department; Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office; and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Assistance was also rendered by the Atlanta Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and United States Attorney’s Offices in the Northern Districts of Georgia and Florida. Assistant United States Attorney Wayne Taylor represents the United States in this OCDETF investigation and prosecution.
The mission of the Appalachia HIDTA is to reduce measurably, and particularly as it relates to marijuana, the production and trafficking of illegal drugs in its immediate area, to reduce drug-related violent crime in the region, and to reduce the impact that HIDTA drug production and trafficking have on other areas of the United States. Although marijuana is its primary focus, the Appalachia HIDTA responds to the threat posed by the illicit traffic of other drugs as required. Central to this mission is the expansion of cooperative, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement efforts involving HIDTA funded and non-HIDTA funded resources.