Authorities dismantle major drug trafficking operation

Authorities dismantle major drug trafficking operation (Image 1)

Metro police drug officers and partner agencies have dismantled an alleged drug distribution organization, believed to be responsible for trafficking thousands of pounds of marijuana into Middle Tennessee over at least the past five years.

Since last summer, Metro officers, Sumner County law enforcement and DEA agents have jointly investigated a marijuana business allegedly headed by Jeffrey King of Goodlettsville and Vernon Lockhart of Old Hickory.

Metro police said the two are alleged to have set up sham corporations, including Pyramid Engineering and JK Trucking, to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money.

King and his wife, Cassie, are also alleged to have laundered drug money through Eyecandy, a beauty salon on Villa Place she co-owns.

Arrests in the case were first made in the early morning hours of March 8, when officers stopped a Pyramid Engineering pickup truck pulling a trailer.

Underneath the trailer they found a compartment welded shut and full of marijuana bundles.

More than 550 pounds of marijuana was recovered.

Since then, police have searched dozens of homes and properties across Middle Tennessee, netting in the arrests of 11 persons.

Police also seized 40 vehicles, including muscle cars, dump trucks and boats, 74 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, an additional 149 pounds of marijuana and nearly $300,000 in cash.

Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas said the city's streets are safer now that the alleged organization has been dismantled.

“All of these guns are no longer in the hands of criminals.  The drugs are not going to be parceled out into our society.  This is just a great step,” he said.

Metro police said several others are expected to face charges as the case makes its way to the Davidson County grand jury.

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