6:53am

Thu January 19, 2012
Suspect Jailed Till March Trial

Ring Trafficks 260,000 Pills into East Tenn.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge in Knoxville has ordered a man suspected in a $6.5 million prescription painkiller operation jailed until his trial in March.

The ruling came at a Tuesday detention hearing for Eric Christopher Hefner. 

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Bethel Poston testified during the hearing that -by conservative estimate - Hefner brought 260,000 pills into East Tennessee in a single year.

Poston testified Hefner set up stash houses in Knoxville and Oak Ridge where he received packages of painkillers sent from southern Florida via FedEx.

Hefner was arrested on Friday on a federal indictment that accuses him of heading a pill-trafficking ring.
The federal public defender's office represented Hefner at the hearing and was not immediately available for comment on yesterday.