From the Cleveland Daily Banner: Tenth Judicial District Attorney General Shari Tayloe today announced the conclusion to a multi-year drug tra
From the Cleveland Daily Banner: Tenth Judicial District Attorney General Shari Tayloe today announced the conclusion to a multi-year drug trafficking investigation involving the Office of the District Attorney General, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the 10th Judicial Drug Task Force, and the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office.
According to a news release from the DA’s Office, on Tuesday, Dec. 12, the head of that organization, Raymond Scott Knox, of Niota, entered a plea of guilty as charged to all counts of the indictment during the course of his trial.
“This this included a plea to conspiracy to distribute over 300 grams of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine over 300 grams with the intent to sell, seven separate counts of the distribution of methamphetamine to different individuals throughout the investigation, and two counts related to Knox’s possession of firearms during the course of his distribution of methamphetamine while being a convicted felon,” the news release stated.
Knox will be sentenced on March 8, 2024, and is facing a sentence of 30 to 235 years in the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
“The successful prosecution of these individuals could not have happened without the combined efforts of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, the Tenth Judicial District Drug Task Force, the McMinn County Sheriff’s Office and our office,” Tayloe said. “Halting this illegal drug operation has taken kilos of drugs off our streets and out of our communities, making our neighborhoods safer.”
The investigation spanned multiple years, culminating in a search warrant being executed at the residence of Raymond Scott Knox in Niota.
“During the search, agents seized over four kilograms of methamphetamine, with a street value of over $50,000, yet to be distributed into our community,” the news release stated. “Knox hid the methamphetamine in a modified propane tank at his residence. Law enforcement also seized multiple firearms from the residence of Knox, a convicted felon.
“Prior to this trial, four other key members of the drug trafficking organization targeted by the investigation pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from eight to 40 years,” the news release continued. “These individuals include Melissa Skinner of Niota, Jonathan Scott Knox of Athens, Douglas Hutchinson of Madisonville, and George Buchanan of Niota.”
The prosecution in the case was headed by Assistant District Attorneys General Ashley Ervin and Andrew Castle.