A total of 14 individuals from Eastern Tennessee, Northern Georgia and Western North Carolina have been arrested for various violations of federal drug and firearms laws. All are alleged to be part of a large methamphetamine trafficking organization operating in Tennessee and Georgia.
Seven of those charged had initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan K. Lee on Tuesday. Anthony Long, 41, of Chatsworth, Ga.
; Sarah McElhannon, 44, of Copperhill, Tn.; Paula Price, 41, Jeremy Gamble, 42, Randy Greene, 48, Paul Gribble, 48, all of Turtletown, Tn.; and Tracy Mason, 48, of McCaysville, Ga., all appeared for the first time.
Three others, including: Jose Manuel Juarez-Gonzalez, 37, of Ellenwood, Ga.; Hector De La Torre, 50, of Atlanta and Robin Welch, 42, of Copperhill, Tn., who had previously been arraigned on a superseding indictment, also appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lee to be arraigned on charges in the second superseding indictment.
Four individuals are also in custody including Corey Welch, 39, of Copperhill, Tn.; Dennis Glover, 60, of Ranger, Ga.; Melinda Adams, 24, of McCaysville, Ga., and Mitchell Hughes, 38, of Farner, Tn. They will be arraigned in the near future.
Trial has been set for June 25 in U.S. District Court in Chattanooga.
Other arrests are pending and their names, charges and potential penalties will be released upon their initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate judge.
The investigation leading to the indictment and subsequent arrests was conducted by agents of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and 10th Judicial District Drug Task Force.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Terra Bay will represent the United States at trial.