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Manicurist Nailed for Drug Trafficking

A manicurist who sidelined as a major cocaine hustler is worried he'll be vulnerable to attack in prison, but a federal prosecutor on Monday disagreed. "He (bench presses) 400 pounds,' Assistant U.S. Attorney David Lewen said of Michael Currier. 'He's covered in tattoos. That's not going to be a guy who will have trouble in prison."

...Currier, 34, worked as a manicurist at two high-end Knoxville salons. Last year, however, he was convicted of heading up a large-scale cocaine operation and using the women in his life, including a Hooter's waitress who peddled the powder to fellow employees, to help. Currier had insisted he was, instead, a victim of those women, who he said were lying about him as revenge for being jilted by him.

Ref. www.knoxnews.com.

March 21, 2011 Eastern District of Tennessee (865) 545-4167

Knoxville, TN-Michael Currier, 34, of Clinton, Tenn., was sentenced to 292 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville, by the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, U.S. District Judge. The sentence was the result of a guilty verdict that was returned on September 3, 2010, after a three-day jury trial. Currier was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.

The proof at trial showed a wide-ranging conspiracy that operated from 2000-2008 and involved 10 people. The proof at trial also showed that cocaine was brought into the Eastern District of Tennessee from Nashville, Tenn., and Dallas, Tex. The evidence at the March 21, 2011, sentencing hearing showed that the conspiracy involved 15-50 kilograms of cocaine, that the defendant was a leader within the conspiracy, and that the defendant utilized firearms in furtherance of the drug conspiracy.

"People who are thinking about committing drug crimes need to notice the severity of this sentence. The price that you pay for violations of federal drug crimes is high. This case should deter others from this type of criminal activity," said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian.

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Currier was the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Roane County Sheriff's Office, and Harriman Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David P. Lewen, Jr., represented the United States.

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