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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Sumner sting leads to takedown of massive drug pipeline

Sumner sting leads to takedown of massive drug pipeline
It's Sumner County's biggest cocaine bust ever - 27 kilos valued in the millions of dollars. But this bust happened three years ago, and it's only going public now because it was part of a huge federal investigation. That investigation shut down one of the busiest cocaine drug operations in Middle Tennessee.

Sumner County Deputy Chief Bob Barker said, "They knew how to move the drugs and when to move them."

The buyer shown in survaillance tape Wednesday was an undercover Sumner County Sheriff's Department agent. The drug dealers were part of an organized ring that brought massive amounts of cocaine up from Mexico through El Paso, TX and untimately up to Middle Tennessee.

"It was very well financed," said Barker.

This group had been under investigation by several federal agencies, but no one had been able to bring them down. One key to success this time was the Sumner County undercover agent who set up the deal with one of the drug runners.

Agent Tim Bailey said, "I showed him half a million dollars in cash for the pending cocaine purchase."

The two drug runners were busted after unloading the coke. That springboarded a three year multi-agency federal investigation. Ultimately, Randall Parker and Kenneth Kimball, who were considered the drug organization's leaders, were arrested and convicted. Both were recently sentenced to life in federal prison. Case closed - with investigators now looking towards the next case.

Barker said, "Every time you lose or you convict one group, it doesn't take long for other people that are waiting in the wings to take their place."

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