Plea agreement will send Newport man, 81, to prison

Plea agreement will send Newport man, 81, to prison

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GREENEVILLE (WATE/AP) - An 81-year-old man has pleaded guilty in a 2012 painkiller distribution case that also involved his son and several others.

According to the Citizen Tribune, Ralph Edward Teague entered an agreement to plead guilty to conspiracy to selling oxycodone and to maintaining a drug house in Newport.

Teague, along with his son, Gary, and seven others from Cocke County were indicted in February by a federal grand jury on charges involving drug trafficking.

The agreement filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Greeneville indicates Teague admitted putting 1,074,850 milligrams of the painkiller on the street by sponsoring other people's trips to out-of-state pain clinics for a portion of the prescriptions they came back with, which he sold.

Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Suzanne Kerney-Quillen noted the total of the drugs Teague distributed was equivalent to 35,828 30-milligram pills.

When Teague was arrested in August 2012, authorities said he paid for trips to pain clinics to fill prescriptions. In exchange, the buyers would give him part of their pills.

The agreement calls for Teague's two 10-year federal prison terms to run concurrently.

Teague had four prior drug-related felony convictions.

Portions of this report Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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