Feds accuse Roane County man of drug ring involvement

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By The Staff

The federal government has accused a local man of being heavily involved in an interstate cocaine distribution ring.

Daniel Schleben of Ten Mile is one of eight people in trouble on federal conspiracy and money laundering charges involving cocaine, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

The feds contend that an investigation into the illegal operations of an East Knoxville street gang, the Black Gangster Disciples, revealed that Schleben was the gang's main drug source.

Schleben had been under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Ninth Judicial Drug Task Force for more than a year, the news release stated.

The investigation traced his drug suppliers to Atlanta.

Searches and arrests in Tennessee and Georgia led to the seizure of 61 kilograms of cocaine, according to the news release.

The drugs were going to be distributed in East Tennessee, officials said.

Authorities also seized more than $2 million in cash.

Schleben, who the feds say also goes by the name Gomez, was one of five defendants who appeared in federal court in Knoxville on Monday.

All pleaded not guilty.

The investigation also involved the office of Russell Johnson, the district attorney general for the Ninth Judicial District, which includes Roane County.