Ronald Turner, a convicted gang leader from Knoxville, was sentenced to life in prison, followed by a five-year term of supervised release, for charges related to drug and money laundering crimes.
He was arrested, along with seven other members of the conspiracy, in an operation that was focused across multiple counties in East Tennessee.
When issuing the sentence, Judge Thomas A. Varlan considered “Turner’s role as a leader and organizer of the crimes, his distribution of drugs within the Tennessee state prison, and his direction that other gang members recruit minors to help commit the crimes,” according to a release from the Department of Justice.
“Turner was part of a gang that trafficked in lethal drugs, resulting in devastation and death within our community. This sentence sends a powerful message that incarcerated individuals who continue to engage in drug trafficking and who use minors to flood the community with drugs will face justice,” said United States Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III. “This case is an example of the Department of Justice’s comprehensive strategy to target and prosecute the most serious offenders who pose the greatest threats to safety and peace within the community.”
Previously, Alim J. Turner, who was involved in the same scheme, was sentenced to life plus 10 years in prison. The group distributed drugs in both Knoxville and Chattanooga.
“Illegal drug trafficking continues to have a devastating and horrific impact on communities throughout our nation. This life sentence sends a very strong message to those who engage in these unlawful activities. The FBI and our law enforcement partners remain dedicated to identifying, investigating, and apprehending those who terrorize our communities with their reckless and illegal behavior,” added FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph Carrico.
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