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Career Drug Trafficker Sentenced to Seven Years in Federal Prison

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Newport, R.I., man previously convicted and sentenced in Rhode Island state courts on three occasions since 2002 for drug trafficking has been sentenced to 84 months in federal prison, having pled guilty in May 2010 to again trafficking in cocaine, announced Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

Gary Cleveland, 27, who was listed as being a fugitive from the time of his indictment by a federal grand jury in October 2008 until his arrest fifteen months later, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in May 2010 to one count of distribution of cocaine base. Cleveland was indicted based on information developed during an undercover investigation into cocaine trafficking in Newport by DEA agents and Newport Police.

At the time of Cleveland’s guilty plea, information was presented to the Court that during the undercover operation, Cleveland sold more than six grams of crack cocaine to a person cooperating with law enforcement. The crack cocaine sale took place at Cleveland’s Newport residence.

Previously, Cleveland was convicted in state court and sentenced to prison for drug trafficking, including nine months to serve in 2002; one year to serve in 2003; and fifteen months to serve in 2005. Information was presented to the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch that Cleveland repeatedly violated the terms and conditions of probation as imposed in state court by continuing to deal in drugs.


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