Former high school coach pleads guilty to drug charges

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A former assistant football and basketball coach at Beaver Falls High School pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to sell more than 10 pounds of cocaine and selling an ounce of crack.

Carlos Cleckley, 36, was "one of the higher-ranking members" of a Beaver County cocaine ring led by Adrian M. Taylor, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine King. On numerous occasions, Mr. Cleckley sold around 28 grams of cocaine or crack to Drug Enforcement Administration informants, and on one occasion he sold 432 grams of cocaine, Ms. King told U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch at the plea hearing.

A task force tapped 13 cell phones, used 11 informants and employed GPS and pole cameras to assemble evidence, Ms. King said. The ring was busted in September 2011, when law enforcement seized a 16-kilogram shipment of cocaine from Texas and $669,000, she said.

Mr. Cleckley would normally face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years but may be eligible for a shorter prison term because he has no criminal history. He is set to be sentenced April 25.

Mr. Taylor has pleaded guilty but has not yet been sentenced.



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