KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On April 30, 2018, Maximino Contreras, 47, of Tollison, Arizona, was sentenced by the Honorable Pamela L. Reeves, U.S. District Judge, to serve 210 months in federal prison for his role in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy.
Contreras pleaded guilty in July 2017 to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. In his plea agreement on file with U.S. District Court, Contreras admitted to shipping methamphetamine from Arizona, where he resided, to east Tennessee. He also admitted that in August 2016, he was in possession of four pounds of methamphetamine and approximately $22,000 in cash that was seized from an apartment being used as a stash house in Morristown, Tennessee.
Agencies involved in this investigation included Drug Enforcement Administration- Knoxville and Phoenix Field Divisions, U.S. Postal Inspection Service- Knoxville and Phoenix Field Divisions, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Seventh Judicial District Crime Task Force, and the Morristown Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelly A. Norris represented the United States during court proceedings.
Funding for some of the task forces involved in this investigation also came from the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Area Task Force (HIDTA) which was created in 1998, one of 32 areas in the nation that have been designated as HIDTAs. The HIDTA Program began in 1988 when Congress authorized the Director of The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to designate areas within the United States which exhibit serious drug trafficking problems and harmfully impact other areas of the country as HIDTAs. The HIDTA Program provides additional federal resources to those areas to help eliminate or reduce drug trafficking and its harmful consequences.
This case was part of the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. The HIDTA program enhances and coordinates drug control efforts among local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The program provides agencies with coordination, equipment, technology, and additional resources to combat drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of the United States. The program began in 1988 when Congress authorized the Director of The Office of National Drug Control Policy designate areas within the United States that exhibit serious drug trafficking problems and harmfully impact other areas of the country as HIDTAs.