21, 2007 - Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling
Owen today named Officer Jeremy Maupin the July Officer of the Month
for the Knoxville Police Department. Officer Maupin has been with
the department since January 2001.
Chief Owen said the drug investigation began in 2006 when Officer
Maupin and agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) began
purchasing federally prosecutable amounts of crack cocaine from a
local drug dealer. These purchases led to the court authorized wiretaps
of five different telephones. By listening to the wiretaps, investigators
were able to identify and neutralize a huge drug trafficking organization
based out of Atlanta, GA. That organization was responsible for delivering
25 kilograms, or $50,000.00 worth, of cocaine into the Knoxville area
since January 2007. In addition, the illegal organization imported
thousands of ecstasy tablets, many handguns and rifles, and hundreds
of pounds of marijuana into Knoxville.
Chief Owen said, "The organization was highly structured
and was growing at an alarming rate until their arrests on May 3.
Currently, twenty defendants have been arrested with additional
arrests expected in the near future."
These arrests have also resulted in the seizure of large amounts
of cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, and multiple firearms. Five drug
houses in the city of Knoxville have also been shut down. Additionally,
the process to seize assets including real property out of state
and in the Knoxville area continues.
DEA Special Agent Bethel Poston said, "Without the involvement
of Officer Maupin in this case, it would not have been the success
that it was."
Chief Owen said, "We commend Officer Maupin for his commitment
to help keep Knoxville a safe place for all residents. Through his
work in this investigation, this drug trafficking organization will
no longer be able to victimize our citizens."
Officer Maupin will receive a signed certificate from the mayor
and chief along with a free dinner from the Olive Garden.