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Man gets 4 years for cocaine distribution

Man gets 4 years for cocaine distribution

A Dominican immigrant who was held hostage and beaten after being lured to suburban Atlanta to settle a drug debt was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in prison for his involvement with a cocaine distribution cell.
U.S. District Judge Jack Camp sentenced Oscar Reynoso, 31, to 46 months in federal prison, with five years supervised release to follow. Reynoso is a legal resident who lived in Rhode Island but will face deportation once he is released, said U.S. Attorney David Nahmias. He pleaded guilty in March to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine.
"This shows there are no free passes for drug dealers, even when they become the victim of violent crimes by their associates," Nahmias said after the sentencing.
Law enforcement officials say Reynoso thought he was coming to the Atlanta area to buy a car and was taken to a house in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood in Lilburn, Georgia. When he entered the home's garage, he was ambushed and assaulted by eight men carrying guns.
They chained him to a wall in the basement, beat him and gave him little food or water for nearly a week before authorities found him.
The men holding Reynoso contacted his friends and relatives to collect a $150,000 drug debt they said he owed. Reynoso has said he didn't owe the men any money but has admitted to being involved in drug activity in Rhode Island.
Reynoso's lawyer, Richard Rice, said Reynoso deserved a lighter sentence than the 51 months requested by prosecutors because he played a minor role in the cocaine distribution and suffered greatly at the hands of his captors. Reynoso also cooperated with prosecutors, helping them get three of the men who held him to plead guilty. That spared them the time and expense of a trial, Rice said.
Prosecutors said the 51 months was already reduced to take Reynoso's aid into account. They countered that Reynoso wouldn't likely have been entrusted to handle so much cocaine if he were just a minor player. Prosecutor Scott Hulsey acknowledged that Reynoso experienced "a sort of living hell" while imprisoned in the basement but said he wouldn't have been in that situation if he hadn't been involved in drug activity.
Reynoso, dressed in a bright orange prison jumpsuit, hung his head and apologized through a court translator before Camp handed down the sentence.
Three Mexican illegal immigrants who held Reynoso in the basement fled when they saw authorities outside last July 11 but were caught a short time later. Victor Abiles Gomez, 20, Omar Mendoza-Villegas, 19, and Gerardo Solorio Reyes, 23, pleaded guilty in March to federal hostage-taking, drug and firearms charges. They face maximum sentences of life in prison and are set to be sentenced July 7.


Updated : 2021-06-19 02:28 GMT+08:00