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Drug dealer given 10-year sentence; he denies gang ties

By Owen Weldon     Apr 7, 2007 in Crime
The last man in a band of drug-selling cohorts who were originally touted to be members of the 74 Hoover Crips street gang was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Friday amid the man's insistence he was never a part of a gang
The man was 26 years old and he was arrested by law enforcement agents who claimed that the suspect was a main member of a sophisticated and violent drug-selling empire. At his sentencing he described the operations differently and explained that selling drugs was a side thing and running a legit operation was his legitimate job.
"The government's right," he said. "We did sell a lot of drugs. ... But I'm not a gang member. ... The people I sold drugs to were the people I grew up with, people I did drugs with, people who gave me my first drugs."
The gang law enforcement agents say he has ties to are the hoover gang but a federal probation officer says that he has no connections to that gang.
Officers found many weapons that included several firearms and drugs and $68,000 in the car of a man who had been shot in the leg.
30 people pleaded guilty and now most of them are serving five years in prison.
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