Four people were indicted by a grand jury last week on two counts of drug trafficking. James Michael West and Ronald Scott West are charged with possession and sale of over 2,200 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute during a ten year period. They face ten years to life in prison and up to a $4 million fine.
Joanne Baker West and Bernadette Trent West were charged, along with the two males, with financial dealings with the illegal drugs and purchasing real and other property with the proceeds. They face up to 20 years in jail and fines p to $500,000.
According to the grand jury report, the activity began in 1995 and the possible forfeitures include real property in downtown Knoxville, other Tennessee addresses, North Carolina and Hawaii.
The men are scheduled to appear this week before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton. The women will appear at a later date.
Over the more than ten year period, the indictment charges that the group collected over 2.5 million from marijuana sales.