Seized drug money split by agencies who helped bust the dealers

1:26 PM, Aug 29, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR, Knoxville) - Several law enforcement agencies in East Tennessee now have more money in their budget thanks to a federal case.

Thursday morning, the U.S. Attorney's Office presented 19 agencies from three states with their share of funds forfeited from the case against Francisco Javier Cruz-Ramirez.

Nine of those agencies were in Tennessee.

Through a joint investigation into a Mexican drug trafficking organization, police identified and stopped a semi-truck on Interstate 40 the Cumberland County in March 2011.

They found more than $4 million in the back of the truck.

Cruz-Ramirez pleaded guilty, and now local agencies are profiting from the forfeiture.

"I think this is obviously a larger drug trafficking organization for that kind of money to be confiscated and in the manner in which it was confiscated, how it was packaged, where it was stored," said U.S. Attorney William C. Killian.

The Blount County Sheriff's Office, the Knox County Sheriff's Office, the Knoxville Police Department, the Lenoir City Police Department, the Oak Ridge Police Department, and the Metro Knoxville Airport Authority Police all received a portion of the $4 million as well as the Tennessee Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Department of Safety.

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