A Texan who helped to bring about 180 kilograms of cocaine into Beaver County was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison.
Vincent Middlebrooks, 40, of Houston, pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell cocaine and money laundering.
For sentencing, U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch relied on testimony from co-defendant Adrian Taylor, 36, of Beaver Falls. He told the judge that during 2010, Middlebrooks brought him about eight kilograms of cocaine a month, and the amounts got bigger in 2011 when they began using long-haul trucks to move the drug. Middlebrooks made about 35 plane trips to Pittsburgh to coordinate deliveries and collect money, Judge Bloch said.
Lee Markovitz, representing Middlebrooks, said his client was a first-time offender and an involved father. Judge Bloch said that did not warrant a shorter sentence.
"The enormous scope of the cocaine trafficking and the relative sophistication of the conspiracy demonstrate that a substantial sentence is necessary," the judge said.
Mr. Taylor and co-defendant Carlos Cleckley, 37, a former Beaver Falls High School assistant football and basketball coach, have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. The truck driver, Gathon Dudley Shannon, 46, of Houston, was found guilty at trial and has not yet been sentenced.