ET official named state's drug agent of the year

KINGSTON - The deputy director of the 9th Judicial District Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force has been named drug agent of the year in both East Tennessee and the state.

The Tennessee Narcotics Officers Association honored Steve Cook at the organization's annual meeting in Gatlinburg, District Attorney General Russell Johnson said.

Cook was praised for his role this year in busting what Johnson called one of the largest cocaine distribution rings in East Tennessee.

That network, which authorities allege was headed by Daniel "Gomez" Schleben of Roane County, resulted in federal and state prosecutions of several defendants, Johnson said.

The 9th Judicial District Task Force works with 14 law enforcement agencies in Loudon, Meigs, Morgan and Roane counties.