Last defendant in Rutherford County JailCigs investigation pleads guilty

rutherford county jail
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The third and final defendant in the Rutherford County JailCigs investigation pleaded guilty to federal charges of obstruction of justice Monday afternoon.

The charge against 59-year-old John Vanderveer stems from the sale of e-cigarettes inside the Rutherford County jail.

Vanderveer was indicted in May 2016, alongside his nephew, former Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold and former Chief Administrative Deputy Joe Russell for their roles in the formation and operation of JailCigs.

The indictment alleges that the three men enriched themselves by selling JailCigs to inmates the Rutherford County jail while concealing and misrepresenting Arnold and Russell’s ownership of the business and paying the ex-sheriff commission payments that were owed to the county.

Vanderveer also admitted he received more than $49,000 from the sale of JailCigs to inmates at the Rutherford County jail.

Vanderveer will pay restitution to Rutherford County in the amount of $52,500. He could face between 18 to 24 months in prison and will be sentenced on May 19.