Cocaine dealer sentenced to five years

Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) The first of 44 defendants indicted on cocaine distribution charges last year was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline sentenced Melido A. Infante-Christophers, 23, to the mandatory minimum. He pleaded guilty in April to one count of intending to sell crack.

Prosecutors last year said the indictments were part of one of the biggest drug ring busts in Alaska history.

According to investigators, two Dominican families masterminded a massive cocaine drug ring that moved millions of dollars in cocaine from Mexico through California and then to Alaska.

Forty-four people were indicted in November on varying charges including conspiracy to sell drugs and possession, distribution of cocaine and money laundering.

Infante-Christophers' attorney said in court that his client was never part of the bigger conspiracy. He originally faced four charges of selling drugs, but he was not accused of the more serious conspiracy charges.

About a dozen defendants have pleaded guilty. Several defendants are scheduled to be sentenced in July.

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