- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 28, 2017

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Two people, including a 60-year-old woman charged with selling marijuana, have been accused of buying votes in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary election, federal authorities say.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports (https://bit.ly/2lSR9AF ) that Betty Jane Best and Brian Keith Hodge were named in a 14-count federal indictment alleging a vote-buying conspiracy in Monroe County.

The indictment alleges that 13 people were paid to vote in the 2014 Senate primary. It doesn’t say who they were supposed to have voted for or how much they allegedly received for casting a ballot.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and attorney Gordon Ball won those primary races. There’s no indication either was aware of the alleged scheme.

Best, also known as Betty Hawkins, has been indicted in Monroe County on charges of selling marijuana. It’s not clear what her relationship is to Hodge, who goes by the name “Wormy.”

Phone messages left with their attorneys were not immediately returned.

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Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, https://www.knoxnews.com

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