KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a long-term investigation has led to the arrest of a woman they say was running one of the biggest prescription pill networks east Tennessee has ever seen.
Prosecutors were testifying in federal court Friday in an attempt to keep Sylvia Hofstetter in jail ahead of her trial. The 51-year-old is facing charges she headed a $17.5 million pill-mill operation in Knoxville and Lenoir City. She was indicted on nine federal charges.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley declined to free Hofstetter while she awaits trial.
Defense attorneys had argued that the grandmother has no criminal record.
Hofstetter was arrested on Tuesday, the same day federal raids were conducted at pill clinics in Lenoir City.