The alleged ringleader of a large-scale cocaine distribution network entered a guilty plea yesterday in U.S. District Court in Greeneville.
Larry Dobie Pruitt, aka "Bear", age 58, of 1622 W. Highway 25/70 in Newport, pled guilty to one count of conspiring to distribute, and possession with the intent to distribute, 5 or more kilograms of cocaine. At sentencing, Pruitt faces a minimum of 10 years up to life imprisonment, along with a possible $4 million fine. Federal Jaw requires his incarceration to be followed by a period of supervised release of at least five years as determined by the court. District Judge Ronnie Greer ordered Pruitt to remain in federal custody pending his sentencing hearing scheduled for Feb. 23, 2009.
Pruitt, along with nine other defendants, was arrested last year as a result of a joint investigation involving primarily the Fourth Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The probe, which culminated on Sept. 28, 2007, with the search of Pruitt's home, bar, and automobile-repair garage, also involved the District Attorney General’s office, Newport Police Department, and officers from both Cocke County and Jefferson County Sheriffs Departments.
The remaining codefendants have either previously pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing or are scheduled to go to trial in December of this year.
I hope the judge throws a grizzly of a sentence at the ‘Bear’.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.