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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cleveland Heights Man Sentenced To Nearly 17 Years In Prison For Drug Crime

A Cleveland Heights man was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison for drug crimes, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Donte Booker, age 45, was found guilty earlier this of one count of attempted possession of five or more kilograms of cocaine.

U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin sentenced Booker to 16 years and eight months in prison.

Booker met with a confidential source in October 2012 in Cleveland to discuss a potential identity theft scheme. Booker also told the source that he was a home invader and had heard the source knew drug dealers in the area that he could rob of large amounts of drugs and/or money, according to court documents.

Over the next two months, Booker planned a robbery of 10 kilo grams of powder cocaine with individuals he believed were drug couriers, but who were in fact law enforcement. Booker repeatedly and explicitly expressed a willingness to use deadly force to effect the robbery. Law enforcement officials therefore decided the original scenario would be too dangerous and instead adopted Booker’s suggestion to conduct the robbery in a hotel parking lot, according to court documents.

Booker repeatedly stated that he would have no problem selling 10 kilograms of cocaine. On Jan. 8, 2013, Booker learned that a bag he believed contained 10 kilograms of powder cocaine was located inside a vehicle parked at the La Quinta Hotel on West 150th Street in Cleveland.  Booker arrived at the parking lot, awaited the signal and stole the sham cocaine and was eventually arrested, according to court documents.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward F. Feran and Adam Hollingworth following an investigation by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force (NOLETF) and the Cleveland Police Department.

The NOLETF is a long standing multi-agency task force comprised of investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Heights Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Euclid Police Department, Regional Transit Authority Police Department, Strongsville Police Department, Westlake Police Department and Shaker Heights Police Department.

Updated March 12, 2015