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Judge gives lengthy sentence to drug traffickers

When a person is arrested for alleged drug charges, their life can change in an instant. Not only can a conviction limit future employment opportunities but it can also affect an individual's ability to obtain a school loan. In some cases, it can also lead to a lengthy prison sentence. Recently, a federal judge's lengthy sentence will have lasting implications for a pair of 30-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, men. Both men will spend 30 years or more in a federal prison.

On Jan. 23, 2012, the judge sentenced the first man to 35 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess more than 280 grams of crack cocaine, conspiracy to distribute and possess more than five kilograms of cocaine, conspiracy to maintain a drug house and distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.

The same day, the judge sentenced the second man to 30 years in prison. His crimes included conspiracy to distribute and possess more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 280 grams of crack cocaine, conspiracy to maintain drug houses and five counts of distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school.

Seventeen people, including the two 30-year-old men, were arrested as part of an investigation dubbed "Operation Camera Shy." Law enforcement officials spent nearly three years investigating cocaine sales near Northwest Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas.

The investigation began in 2006 after area residents complained it was dangerous for their children to walk to Northwest Middle School. Federal prosecutors allege the drug ring distributed more than $4.2 million worth of cocaine and crack cocaine from 2007 to 2010.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department, the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, the Leavenworth Police Department and the Lee's Summit Police Department all participated in the investigation. Electronic surveillance devices and undercover buyers helped bring down the drug ring.

So far, 13 people have been sentenced in connection with the case. Together they will spend nearly 250 years in prison.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Two sentenced for selling cocaine near KCK school," Joe Lambe and Dawn Bormann, Jan. 25, 2012

Source: The Kansas City Star, "KCK man gets 35 years as part of drug ring," Matt Campbell, Nov. 19, 2011

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