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September 2, 2011

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


ATLANTA RESIDENTS SENTENCED IN MAJOR CRACK COCAINE TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION OPERATING IN THE MORRISTOWN AREA

GREENEVILLE, Tenn.-- On Thursday, September 1, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville, U.S. District Court Judge Leon Jordan sentenced Andrew Montgomery, 28, and Jason Ware, 29, both of Atlanta, Ga., for their respective leadership roles in an overall drug trafficking organization. Montgomery was sentenced to 275 months in prison and Ware was sentenced to 262 months. Montgomery and Ware were both convicted on a crack cocaine conspiracy charge. Montgomery was also convicted of money laundering and a federal methamphetamine conspiracy charge stemming from the Jacksonville, Fla., area.

Evidence in the case showed that Montgomery operated a sophisticated drug trafficking and money laundering organization responsible for multiple kilogram amounts of cocaine and crack cocaine being supplied from the Atlanta area, and distributed in and around Morristown, Tenn. Montgomery stipulated that he obtained approximately 150 kilograms of cocaine from various Mexican sources of supply, which was ultimately distributed to many others in the organization, where it was cooked into crack cocaine and sold in the Atlanta area, or transported to the Morristown area to be cooked and distributed there. Ware served as one of the primary dealers of cocaine base in Atlanta and Morristown. Montgomery and Ware were two of the most culpable in a conspiracy that involved 32 total indicted defendants. The conspiracy also involved firearms and money laundering. Currently, only two other defendants in the case remain to be sentenced and their court dates are both set within the next few months.

The indictment and subsequent convictions are the result of a multi-state, multi-agency investigation involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Johnson City, Tenn., FBI’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force in Atlanta, Morristown Police Department, Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office, and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Assistance was also rendered by the Atlanta Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and U.S. Attorneys Offices in the Northern Districts of Georgia and Florida. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States throughout the case.

“I am extremely proud of the cooperative efforts of the investigators from the numerous law enforcement agencies led by the FBI for their hard work that has resulted in these convictions on members of one of the largest drug conspiracies in east Tennessee,” stated U.S. Attorney William C. Killian.

This case was part of the Department's OCDETF and the HIDTA programs. OCDETF is the primary weapon of the United States against the highest level drug trafficking organizations operating within the United States, importing drugs into the United States, or laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking. The HIDTA program enhances and coordinates drug control efforts among local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies. The program provides agencies with coordination, equipment, technology, and additional resources to combat drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of the United States.

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