Rutherford man charged in major drug investigation; Guns, pill seized

(Mug: Sumner County Sheriff's Office/Photo: 18th Judicial Drug Task Force)

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The 18th Judicial Drug Task Force out of Sumner County made a major bust in Rutherford County, seizing dozens of high-caliber weapons, cash, and pills.

Agents executed a search warrant at the home of Joseph Lamantia, who reportedly claims to run a small construction and landscaping company.

But drug investigators say he makes his money by selling pain pills.

The months-long investigation into Lamantia reportedly showed people who didn’t pay him in cash paid him with merchandise, some of which was stolen.

More than four dozen weapons have been confiscated from his home. Agents said they included a hunting rifle with a scope, multiple hand guns, a vintage shot gun, and even an AR-15. Eight of them were reportedly found inside one of Lamantia’s trucks.

(Courtesy: 18th Judicial Drug Task Force)
(Courtesy: 18th Judicial Drug Task Force)

Drug agents told News 2 many of the guns were stolen and the ownership of others is not yet known. That’s why the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was brought into the investigation.

Along with the guns, officers allegedly found $10,000 in cash as well as pain pills at Lamantia’s house.

Authorities showed News 2 pallets loaded with landscaping equipment taken from the suspect as well, saying he sometimes paid his workers in pain pills instead of cash.

The 45-year-old is also wanted for cattle rustling in other parts of Tennessee, investigators said.

The investigation into Lamantia is only just beginning as officers determine who owns the property they confiscated, how it came into his possession, and, most importantly, how Lamantia obtained so much prescription medicine.

News 2 was told more charges are expected to be filed as he currently sits behind bars in Sumner County on $375,000 bond.