May 31, 2012
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Johnson City Man Sentenced in Major Cocaine Trafficking Operation In The Tri-Cities Area
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - On Wednesday, May 30, 2012, Amansio Garcia Juarez, 29, of Johnson City, Tenn., was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, at Greeneville, to serve 120 months in prison for his participation in a vast cocaine conspiracy and his possession of an AK-47 style assault rifle in furtherance of his cocaine trafficking. Juarez is an illegal alien from Mexico and will be deported after serving his sentence.
Juarez is one of 36 total defendants indicted in October 2010 for engaging in large scale cocaine and marijuana trafficking, resulting in 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 involved in this conspiracy, including Juarez. During one of these transactions, Juarez asked a confidential informant if he was interested in purchasing a weapon and showed him an AK-47 that he said he planned to put a silencer on.
Law enforcement agents ultimately concluded the overall investigation by executing 13 search warrants at various locations in Johnson City, Kingsport and Knoxville, Tenn. During these searches, agents found approximately 3.5 kilograms of cocaine, 200 pounds of marijuana and a significant number of firearms and ammunition.
Law enforcement agencies participating in this case included the 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 (HIDTA), Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), 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, “I want to thank all of the prosecutors and federal and state law enforcement agencies involved in this case for their great work in obtaining and presenting the evidence. These arrests and convictions resulted in the elimination of massive quantities of cocaine being distributed, mainly by illegal immigrants, in the Eastern District of Tennessee.”
This case was part of the Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (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.