Businessman Pleads Guilty to Drug, Money Laundering Charges

Knoxville (WVLT) - Market Square business owner Scott West was taken into federal custody, after pleading guilty to drug and money laundering charges.

Forty-one-year-old west faces 87 to 108 months in jail when he is sentenced December first. However, he could receive considerably less time under a plea agreement.

His wife, 47-year-old Bernadette West, also reached a plea deal with prosecutors. She faces 46 to 57 months in jail, but is not expected to serve any time.

"This was a long and difficult negotiated plea agreement. We were able to preserve the businesses. Scott knew he was going into custody today -- that was part of the agreement. He's looking forward to getting this behind him," Don Bosch, Scott West's Attorney.

"We believe that her life record to this point mitigates her crime, but that will be up to the judge," David Eldridge, Bernadette West's Attorney.

Assistant US Attorney David Jennings says it is in the best interest of the City of Knoxville to make some concessions to the Wests, in order for their businesses stay open.

They are being sold to family members, who will operate them.