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Trafficker pleads guilty in major marijuana, meth network
KNOXVILLE (AP) -- A man accused in a drug ring that used tractor-trailers to haul huge quantities of marijuana and methamphetamine from Mexico has agreed to a plea deal in Knoxville. Victor Hugo Vargas pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal District Court to selling and shipping nearly 15,000 pounds of marijuana and nine pounds of meth over five years.
Vargas is already serving time in Georgia. He and co-conspirator Thomas Turner were caught with 240 pounds of marijuana, 1,300 grams of meth and $171,000 in cash there.
Vargas faces a minimum 10 year federal prison term when he's sentenced on January 11.
Both men agreed to testify against co-defendants and investigators uncovered a drug network involving at least 13 people in East Tennessee, Georgia and New Mexico.
Prosecutors allege Greene County dairy farmer Richard "Milkman" Milburn financed the operation and provided a stash house for the drugs. Milburn says he's innocent and is scheduled to be tried December 11 in Knoxville.