Figure in largest-ever drug case wants reduced sentence

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An underling in what former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft called the largest drug ring ever prosecuted in Western Pennsylvania has filed a motion to reduce his 30-year sentence, saying it was based on an improper amount of cocaine.

Omari Patton, 35, of Wilkinsburg, is due to get out of prison in 2028. He was part of a ring run by Oliver Beasley and Donald Lyles, both of whom cut deals with the government and testified against their fellow ring members, including Mr. Patton, in exchange for lesser sentences.

Mr. Patton elected to go to trial, lost and went to prison in 2005. In his motion, he said the government improperly calculated his sentence by saying he was responsible for selling 10 kilograms of cocaine. The evidence at trial, he said, showed he was responsible for only 1 kilo.

The case was one of several huge drug rings dismantled by federal agents here in the early 2000s. Mr. Beasley and Mr. Lyles, the son of a former Pittsburgh police officer, were prosecuted under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Act as part of "Operation Family Store," named for one of Beasley's businesses on Perrysville Avenue.

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