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Leader of area drug-trafficking operation sentenced to 40 years

Matthew Lane • Nov 29, 2012 at 9:55 AM

GREENEVILLE — One of the ringleaders of a vast cocaine- and marijuana-trafficking operation in the Tri-Cities area has been sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.

Tomas Estrada Sarabia, 38, of Johnson City, received the 40-year prison sentence in U.S. District Court in Greeneville on Tuesday. Sarabia (also known as “Primo”) pleaded guilty in August 2011 to distribution and/or possession of cocaine and/or marijuana and possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offense.

Federal prosecutors hit Sarabia, along with 35 other individuals, with a 107-count indictment in October 2011, charging them with engaging in large-scale cocaine and marijuana trafficking from May 2008 through October 2010.

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