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Major Oxycodone Sentence for Velez

By John Disque

Robert Velez, 26, was sentenced to 444 months (37 years) in prison for his leadership role in a massive Oxy distribution ring that stretched from South Florida to East Tennessee.

Greeneville, U.S. District Court Judge Ronnie Greer sentenced Velez on Monday, March 28, 2011. Along with the drug crimes Velez was charged with the use, carry, and discharge of a firearm, four counts of using a communication facility to commit the drug crimes and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Also found guilty were 10 co-defendants but it was Velez who masterminded, financed and arranged the entire operation.

During the trial numerous, recorded messages were played indicting Velez of using hit men, guns and violent methods to collect debts. One of those attempts led Morristown Police on a dangerous high-speed chase.

"More and more we are focusing efforts on truly serious drug offenders. These individuals are a danger to society and often carry weapons and otherwise commit crimes that harm people. Traveling from south Florida to east Tennessee will not give you safety from law enforcement if you are a serious offender." said Killian.

All indictments and convictions were the result of an intense, long-term joint investigation between Morristown Police and Johnson City FBI.

This case was part of the FBI's Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) programs which center all investigations on the highest level drug trafficking organizations operating within the United States, importing drugs into the United States, or laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking.

Published March 31, 2011

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