News and Press Releases

Livingston Man Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison for Distributing Crack Cocaine

July 18, 2012

BIRMINGHAM – U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins today sentenced a Livingston man to 14 years in prison for distributing crack cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Jimmy S. Fox.

Judge Hopkins sentenced ROBERT JAMES COATS JR., 36, for conspiring to distribute and distributing more than 28 grams of crack cocaine in Sumter County in July 2010. Coates pleaded guilty to the charges last year. The judge ordered Coates to serve three years supervised release after completing his prison term. Coats has remained in custody since his arrest in March 2011.

According to court documents, On July 20, 2010, in York, Ala., Coats sold 84 grams of crack cocaine to a confidential source for $3,000. Coats’ co-defendant in the case, Vincent Gene Lawrence Jr., took the confidential source to meet with Coats after the individual came to him with the $3,000, asking to buy a large amount of crack cocaine.

Lawrence pleaded guilty in April 2011 to conspiring to distribute and distributing crack cocaine. He was sentenced in August 2011 to 18 months in prison.

The DEA and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Felton prosecuted.





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