Agents tracked, cracked massive cocaine ring based in Chattanoog - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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Agents tracked, cracked massive cocaine ring based in Chattanooga

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -  People shopping, running errands or dining in Chattanooga in recent years never had a clue that nearby, a major drug dealer was selling multiple ounces of cocaine that fueled the drug trade and influenced street gangs in the Scenic City and surrounding areas.

Juanzell Jenkins used vague text messages and coded cellphone talk to set up cocaine deals that often took place in parking lots of public places like Hamilton Place mall, Kanpai of Tokyo restaurant, McDonald's, Family Dollar and Big Lots. He bragged to friends that he bought brand-new Camaros with cash and controlled the violent local street gangs.

He ran counter-surveillance techniques to thwart police attempts to track him, dumped phones frequently to avoid being listened in on and cut off customers whom he suspected were talking to police.

But it was through some of those buyers that investigators would eventually research phone records, make controlled drug buys and later obtain the best evidence of all -- wiretaps of his calls.

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