KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -

The U.S. attorney's office in Knoxville is prosecuting 20 men alleged to have participated in a conspiracy to traffic drugs worth at least $17.5 million.

The indictment alleges that the defendants worked together to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 280 grams of crack, a charge that could carry a minimum 10-year prison sentence if they are convicted.

According to prosecutors, each of the defendants appeared in court this week and pleaded not guilty to the charges. They were ordered to be held without bond pending their trials scheduled to begin on Feb. 11 in Knoxville.

The case was investigated by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.