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Knox County Sheriff News

Two Men Nabbed in Stolen Merchandise Sting

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office conducted another raid on businesses where the owner was buying stolen merchandise from an undercover KCSO officer posing as a drug addict.  The KCSO Organized Crime Unit executed 5 search warrants at businesses and homes and found beer, champagne, meat, seafood, EBT cards, and dog food that had been bought from the undercover officer.  Joseph Cofer, 55, and Willie (Jack) Hereford, 67, were charged with felony theft and food stamp fraud.  Others charges are pending.  Cofer was operating an illegal bar at 5610 Western Avenue called Discount Vapor.   He was selling beer, wine, and mixed drinks.  After the first buy, Cofer would place orders with the officer on the merchandise he wanted.

The undercover officer sold a total of $1209.68 in merchandise and 4 EBT cards that were used to buy over $1,700 worth of goods.  The cards were used at 16 different places.  Officers also confiscated $8,000 in cash and a vehicle.

Chief Lee Tramel said the KCSO is the only law enforcement agency in the state conducting these types of raids to help fight the opioid epidemic.  “We know we are making progress and will not stop,” he told reporters today.  Tramel said the money involved in the transactions go to buy drugs.

Partners with KCSO in this sting are the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Department of Human Services, the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the Tennessee Alcohol Beverage Commission and Kroger.



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