Drug ring underling files motion to reduce 30-year 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 filed a motion today to reduce his 30-year sentence, saying it was based on an improperly calculated 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 underlings, including Patton, in exchange for lesser sentences.

Patton elected to go to trial, lost and went to prison in 2005. In his motion, he said the U.S. 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 only responsible for one kilogram.

The case was one of several large drug rings dismantled by federal agents here in the early 2000s.

Beasley and 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.

The drug ring operated from 1998 to 2002, distributing massive amounts of cocaine and heroin supplied from New Jersey, New York and Atlanta.

The ring also laundered its drug money through numerous properties, most of which were seized by the federal government.

Prosecutors said the ring contributed to the deaths from heroin overdoses of at least 11 people in suburban Pittsburgh.

First Published August 1, 2014 12:00 AM


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