5 plead not guilty in federal court in military boot case

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Five people have pleaded not guilty in East Tennessee to charges that they conspired to import and sell military-style boots made in China to the U.S. military, government contractors and the public as being made in the U.S.

The five appeared in court on Thursday after being indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday. The U.S. attorney’s office says they were released on bond pending trial, which was set for Nov. 1 in U.S. District Court.

The prosecutor’s office said in a news release that the grand jury returned charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, major fraud against the U.S. and smuggling goods into the U.S. against 65-year-old Vincent Lee Ferguson, 32-year-old Matthew Harrison Martland and 44-year-old Stephanie Lynn Kaemmerer, all of Knoxville; 40-year-old Matthew Lee Ferguson of Lenoir City; and 35-year-old Kerry Joseph Ferguson of Houston.