Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

December 6, 2007

11 federal indictments launch drug roundup

Two local men face new charges

A U.S. District Grand Jury returned 11 indictments against individuals in Cumberland and Putnam counties and this week law enforcement officers started rounding up the suspects. To their surprise, they made two additional drug arrests and seized a substantial amount of marijuana.

The probe started several months ago with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 13th Judicial Drug Task Force and Cumberland and Putnam sheriff's departments and, according to Cumberland County Sheriff's Investigator Casey Cox, prosecution of the cases was accepted by the U.S. Justice Department in Nashville.

"While we were working on the roundup, we came upon drugs and arrested two people on state charges locally," Cox said. Weapons, over 30 pounds of marijuana and cocaine were seized in the two arrests, which apparently were not related.

Michael Vinson Smith, 47, 2980 Plateau Rd., is charged with possessing over six and one-half pounds of marijuana, Cox said.

Richard Kontour, 30, 1619 Sawmill Rd., is charged with possessing over 24 pounds of marijuana and an ounce of cocaine. In addition, guns were seized when Kontour was arrested, Cox said.

The roundup involved at least five Cumberland County residents, several from Putnam County and one who claimed a Knox County address. Their identities and their charges will be made public next week by the U.S. Attorneys Office, Cox said. In addition, the investigation is continuing and at least one more arrest is expected.

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