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May 25, 2012

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee

Johnson City Men Sentenced For Roles In Major Cocaine Trafficking Operation In Tri-cities Area

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - On Thursday, May 24, 2012, Adan Fernandez, 26, of Johnson City, Tenn., and Reinaldo Gonzalez Mojica, 36, of Johnson City, Tenn., were sentenced in U.S. District Court, Knoxville, by the Honorable Leon Jordan, U.S. District Judge, for their participation in a vast cocaine conspiracy. Fernandez was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison and Mojica was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison.

Fernandez and Mojica are two of 36 individuals who were indicted in October 2010 for engaging in large scale cocaine and marijuana trafficking. The conspiracy was responsible for the distribution of several kilograms of cocaine per month in the Tri-Cities area over an extended period of time. Law enforcement agents made over 100 cocaine buys from the various individuals in this conspiracy. Ultimately, law enforcement agents concluded the overall investigation by executing 13 search warrants at various locations in Johnson City, Kingsport and Knoxville, Tenn. These searches yielded approximately 3.5 kilograms of cocaine, 200 pounds of marijuana, and a significant number of firearms and ammunition.

Both Fernandez and Mojica sold cocaine on multiple occasions to confidential informants working on behalf of law enforcement and played instrumental roles in the overall criminal operation by conspiring to distribute kilogram quantities of cocaine in the Tri-Cities area of eastern Tennessee. An additional 25 individuals involved in the conspiracy have already been sentenced, with nine more being scheduled for sentencing hearings over the next few months. Co-defendants Antonio Herrera and Luciano Hernandez Valiente were previously sentenced to 211 months and 120 months, respectively. One remaining defendant is set for trial in August 2012. Fernandez, Mojica, and the majority of the others face deportation after serving their sentences.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation which led to indictment and subsequent convictions of Fernandez, Mojica , and others include the Tennessee First Judicial District Drug Task Force; Tennessee Second Judicial District Drug Task Force; Sullivan County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Kingsport Tennessee Police Department; Bristol Tennessee Police Department; Carter County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Elizabethton Tennessee Police Department; Erwin Tennessee Police Department; Washington County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Johnson City Tennessee Police Department; Jonesborough Tennessee Police Department; Hamblen County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Morristown Tennessee Police Department; Johnson County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Knox County Tennessee Sheriff’s Office; Knoxville Tennessee Police Department; Knoxville Tennessee High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force; Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, all of which provided invaluable assistance during the course of the investigation. Assistant U. S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States.

U. S. Attorney William C. Killian stated, “ Our prosecutors and the federal and state law enforcement agencies working on this case did a great job of obtaining and presenting the evidence in this case. The arrests and convictions in this case resulted in the elimination of massive quantities of cocaine being distributed mainly by illegal aliens in the Eastern District of Tennessee. I want to thank all those involved in bringing these individuals to justice.”

This case was part of the Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (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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