SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Two Sevier County deputy clerks are facing federal charges, shedding light on the raid Thursday morning at the Sevier County courthouse.
Brandy Thornton and Roberta Allen were indicted by a federal grand jury Oct. 6, a day before the FBI was seen conducting “law enforcement actions” at the Sevier County Courthouse. The two are accused of federal crimes involving interfering with interstate commerce by means of extortion.
According to the indictment, the two deputy clerks had the ability to register and title vehicles. Prosecutors claim they got money that they shouldn’t have from Juan Lopez Gallardo and James Hickman.
Gallardo and Hickman are named in other indictments WATE obtained, in connection with a drug ring and a scheme to bring stolen cars from Florida to Tennessee and have them reregistered, hiding that they were stolen.
“The Sevier County Clerks’ Office is cooperating fully with the FBI,” Sevier County Clerk Karen Cotter said. “It is my understanding that no public funds were misused.”