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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


FEBRUARY 12, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


BELTON MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON

FOR CRACK COCAINE CONSPIRACY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Belton, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for his role in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.


            Chris Coleman, 34, of Belton, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan this morning to life in federal prison without parole.


            On Aug. 26, 2008, Coleman was convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of crack cocaine as well as aiding and abetting others to distribute five grams or more of crack cocaine. Coleman is the final defendant to be sentenced among five co-defendants who were charged in a Sept. 12, 2007, federal indictment.


            Evidence presented during the trial indicated that Coleman was the supplier for several co-defendants, who distributed crack cocaine to two undercover law enforcement officers. Courtney D. Baker, 23, of Grandview, Mo., pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole. Donald R. Hathaway, 53, of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole. Cornelius Robinson, 48, of Grandview, pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to eight years and eight months in federal prison without parole. Gwendolyn M. Bates, 47, of Grandview, pleaded guilty to distributing crack cocaine and was sentenced to five years in federal prison without parole.


            This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Amy Marcus and Cindi Woolery. It was investigated by the Jackson County Drug Task Force.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html