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Erwin man charged with coercing witness

Staff Report • Sep 10, 2009 at 12:00 AM

ERWIN – As the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department battles drugs, they often find that some witnesses hesitate to talk because they fear dealers, a drug investigator said Wednesday.

“Oftentimes during interviews, where we’re interviewing potential witnesses, they’re afraid to give statements or to testify against drug dealers because drug dealers operate by trying to scare the people that are potential witnesses,” Sgt. Frank Rogers said. “(Dealers) make them think that harm is going to come to their family or this and that as a result of testifying.

“(They try to) make people in the community afraid so that they can just get by with this outrageous, illegal way of life that they’re used to. The way that they get that accomplished is by scaring people. (Officers) are definitely not afraid.”

Read the full story at the Johnson City Press' web site.

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