KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Fifteen people have been indicted for a heroin and fentanyl conspiracy in Knoxville and other East Tennessee counties, according to the Eastern District of Tennessee Department of Justice.
On Tuesday, April 16, a federal grand jury in Knoxville returned an eight-count indictment against Detroit residents Damion Knox, 34, Darnez Turner, 30, Jeremiah Johnson, 23, and Papa Diop, 23; Knoxville residents Joshua Cooper, 37, Virgil Crawford, 45, Jessica Bouvier, 30, Stephen Bouvier, 38, Jama Collier, 23, and Tina Berry, 55, and five individuals not yet in federal custody at the time of DOJ release.
According to the indictment, between May 2018 and April 15, 2019, the 15 individuals conspired to distribute and possessed with intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing 400 grams or more of a detectable amount of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, and one kilogram or more of a detectable amount of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance. The indictment also alleges a money laundering charge and other drug-related charges for a number of the defendants.
If convicted for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute these controlled substances, each faces a mandatory minimum of at least 10 years and up to life in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of up to $10,000,000, any applicable forfeiture and a $100 special assessment.
This case has been set for trial on July 1.
The investigation was led by the Appalachian High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s Drug-Related Death Task Force and the Organized Crime Unit of the Knoxville Police Department (KPD). Assisting in the investigation and seizure of evidence were various other divisions of KPD, Drug Enforcement Administration, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Fifth Judicial District Drug Task Force, Knox County District Attorney’s Office and Knox County Regional Forensics Center. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent N. Jones will represent the United States.
According to the release, members of the public are reminded that an indictment constitutes only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until his or her guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.