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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Chad Allen Dorton in Large-Scale Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – Following a three-day trial in U.S. District Court, on September 14, 2017, Chad Allen Dorton, 35, of Kingsport, Tennessee, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with the intent to distribute, 1000 kilograms or more of marijuana.


Sentencing is set for 1:30 p.m., December 4, 2017, before the Honorable Pamela L. Reeves, U.S. District Court Judge. Dorton faces a mandatory minimum of 10 year in prison up to life.


From July 2013 through November 2016, Dorton conspired with nine charged co-defendants and others, to distribute, and possess with the intent to distribute, 1000 kilograms or more of marijuana. During this period, Dorton transported over $1 million in cash to O’Brien and Cave Junction, Oregon to purchase high-grade marijuana. He then smuggled 700 – 800 lbs. of the marijuana, with a street value of over $3.3 million, back to east Tennessee, concealed in diesel tanks with false compartments, in tires, and in spare tires. Overall, the evidence presented at trial showed the conspirators purchased, transported, and distributed 2500 to 3700 lbs. of marijuana during the conspiracy period, with a street value of $12 - $18 million. All of the drugs were distributed in Kingsport, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas. Nine of Dorton’s co-conspirators pleaded guilty prior to his trial and have not yet been sentenced.


This long-term investigation was the product of a partnership between the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Second Judicial Drug Task Force, Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Kingsport Police Department, Rogue Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) of Josephine County, Oregon, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor led the prosecution team, while Assistant U.S. Attorneys David L. Gunn and T.J. Harker represented the United States at trial.




Sharry Dedman-Beard
Public Information Officer

Updated September 15, 2017

Drug Trafficking