The number of defendants in the anabolic steroid conspiracy centered at the Hamilton County Jail who maintain they are innocent dwindled further today.
Richard Bennett pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute steroids.
Bennett, 31, a truck driver, joins former Hamilton County Deputy Jeffrey Mahon, 28, among defendants in the case acknowledging their involvement in a conspiracy to distribute steroids.
David Nelson, a nephew of co-defendants James Hood and former Deputy Lonnie Hood, was scheduled for re-arraignment this afternoon before U.S. District Judge R. Allan Edgar.
Nelson, also a truck driver, is charged with conspiracy to commit perjury before the grand jury and with testifying falsely before a federal grand jury.
A total of seven defendants were charged in the 28-count federal indictment returned by a federal grand jury here on Dec. 9.
Lonnie Hood asked for and was granted a postponement on a detention/bond hearing until Jan. 20.
That is the third delay asked for by defense attorneys on the issue of bond for Hood. Ironically, or coincidentally, that is also the deadline for plea bargains for defendants in the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Sullivan told Judge Edgar this morning that Lonnie Hood was getting steroids from California and in packages of toys from Europe.
The prosecutor claimed that Bennett stored the anabolic steroids in his house and helped distribute them.
It was claimed that Bennett went to Murfreesboro and distributed steroids to an individual there.
The conspiracy was investigated by the FBI, IRS and Drug Enforcement Administration.
"Tens of thousands of steroids were obtained over a period of time in capsule and injection form," stated prosecutor Sullivan.
Judge Edgar asked Bennett if he was aware of the contents of the packages he delivered to Murfreesboro.
"I had a good idea," replied the defendant. "To be fair, you had more than a good idea," the judge responded. "Well, yes," said Bennett.
A sentencing date of April 13 has been set for Bennett.