Texas trucker who conspired to bring cocaine to Beaver County sentenced

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A Texas man whose long-haul trucking work brought him through Pittsburgh -- where he conspired to sell cocaine -- faces 20 years in prison following his sentencing Monday by U.S. District Judge Alan N. Bloch.

Gathon Dudley Shannon, 46, of Houston, was arrested in October 2011 with $669,340 in the sleeper cabin of his truck. Co-defendant Vincent Middlebrooks, 40, of Houston, who was also sentenced to 20 years in prison in January, was arrested around the same time with 16 kilograms of cocaine in his car trunk.

Shannon maintained his innocence throughout a jury trial that ended with his conviction in December for conspiracy to sell cocaine, and a not guilty verdict on possession of the drug. Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine A. King and Troy Rivetti prosecuted the case.

Shannon was accused of delivering cocaine to a Beaver County-based drug ring that included local dealers Adrian M. Taylor, 36, and Carlos Cleckley, 37, both of whom await sentencing. Mr. Cleckley is a former Beaver Falls High School football and basketball coach.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 and on Twitter: @richelord.


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