Mountain City officer charged in federal drug investigation agrees to plea deal

Ronald Shupe

MOUNTAIN CITY, TN (WJHL) – A Mountain City police officer charged with federal drug and gun crimes agreed to plead guilty in the case, according to court documents.

Ronald Shupe, 44, a lieutenant with the Mountain City Police Department, was charged earlier this month with possessing oxycodone with intent to distribute and carrying a gun during a drug trafficking offense.

Shupe was accused of buying the drugs from a confidential informant working under the supervision of Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents. After the deal, Shupe was stopped by FBI, TBI and Tennessee Highway Patrol agents. He was reportedly in uniform and carrying his department-issued gun.

Days after Shupe’s arrest on federal charges, he and fellow officer Sgt. Ken Lane were indicted by a Johnson County grand jury on state charges.

TBI agents accused Shupe and Lane of obtaining, distributing and using controlled substances both on and off duty. TBI agents further alleged that some of the transactions happened in a school zone.

According to federal court documents, Monday, Shupe and his attorney agreed to plead guilty to the federal charges. The drug charge carries a sentence of no more than 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The gun charge has a minimum mandatory sentence of five years up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A sentencing date for Shupe in federal court was not immediately available. A hearing for Shupe’s state charges had not been set as of Tuesday.

Lane was scheduled to next appear in a Johnson County courtroom Nov. 21.

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