Knoxville police indict 19 people in heroin drug ring

Knoxville police indict 19 people in heroin drug ring

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"The thing we're also seeing is the number of overdoses - they are increasing with the use of heroin," said KPD Chief David Rausch. "The thing we're also seeing is the number of overdoses - they are increasing with the use of heroin," said KPD Chief David Rausch.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville police announced Friday the indictment of 19 people in connection with a heroin ring that distributed up to 200 bags of the drug per day.

Police began investigating after neighbors on Spring Valley Drive in East Knoxville reported what they thought might be illegal activity at a home.

The group then began using a home on Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest Knoxville.

There, police served a warrant which turned up a small amount of heroin and firearms.

From there, police were able to connect 19 people with the drug ring, many of them from the Chicago area.

Alfred "Mumbles" Williams was determined to be a key player in the group.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said the group was intentionally introducing pain pill addicts to the heroin as part of the business.

Chief Rausch says heroin is being brought to East Tennessee in large amounts.  The large, quick influx in the drug is also causing more deaths.

"The thing we're also seeing is the number of overdoses - they are increasing with the use of heroin," said Chief Rausch.

Rausch said the business was selling between 100 and 200 small bags of heroin each day in Knoxville and surrounding cities, including Sevierville.

A total of 38 charges have been filed in connection to the drug ring. Fourteen of the 19 people connected have been taken into custody.

Neighbors live in fear

Neighbors on Spring Valley Drive in East Knoxville say they always had their blinds drawn. One homeowner even showed us security cameras he installed outside his house.

They say the cars would come down the street non-stop "like a funeral procession". But when police began investigating the heroin house in the summer of 2012, they say Alfred "Mumbles" Williams moved his heroin hub to Northwest Knoxville, and that's when Gladys Davis saw a major surge of traffic on her street, Massachusetts Avenue.

"The first car would go in, come out, the next one would pull in. It would be that way all day and half the night," described Davis.

Like the East Knoxville residents, Davis began to live in fear as well. She always kept her blinds shut and curtains drawn.

One day she heard gunshots outside and decided to move her bed to keep from ever getting hit by a bullet while she was sleeping.

"I just stayed nervous all the time. I'm an outside person, I like working in the yard, but I quit doing that," she said.

When news came of the ring being busted, Davis was relieved. But she says the months of drug traffic has left her so freaked out, she just can't live there anymore.

"I had to move. I'm too scared to live here," she said.

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