PITTSBURGH Man faces prison over cocaine
Several Pennsylvania residents also have pleaded guilty in the plot.
PITTSBURGH -- A Trumbull County man has been sentenced to 7 years and eight months in federal prison for his role in a drug trafficking scheme.
Paul Lucas, 61, of Ridge Road, Farmdale, was convicted of violating federal drug smuggling and sales laws and appeared before Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond Thursday for sentencing.
In addition to the prison time, Lucas must serve five years' parole after his release.
Prosecution's case: Michael L. Ivory, assistant United States attorney, said Lucas and other individuals conspired to smuggle cocaine from Aruba to the United States.
He said Lucas bought airplane tickets for two Pennsylvania residents in September 2000 and those individuals flew to Aruba, where they obtained 4.5 pounds of cocaine from Lucas' cocaine source.
They smuggled the cocaine back to the United States and gave it to Lucas and another member of the conspiracy who distributed it in Pennsylvania and Ohio, Ivory said.
Seven other people had pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine in the same matter. They are Theresa Lynn Crawford of East Washington Street, New Castle; Jenny Lynn Cialella, 21, of Blaine Street, New Castle; Walter Duwayne Johnson, 35, of Park Drive, Hermitage; Richard Andrew Javens, 30, of 37th Street, Beaver Falls; and Deanna Nicole Treece, 19, also of Blaine Street.
The disposition of those cases was not available from federal prosecutors this morning.
Arrested with drugs: According to affidavits filed when they were arrested, Crawford, Cialella, Johnson and Javens were stopped trying to board a TWA plane bound for Pittsburgh in December 2000. Cocaine packets were found strapped to their bodies, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors determined the cocaine was bound for New Castle to James Eugene Gabriel, 56, of Lincoln Avenue and Michael Aaron Waters, 32, of Blaine Street. Both men also pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine, prosecutors said.