A Baton Rouge man was sentenced Thursday to more than six years in federal prison for his role in a cocaine distribution ring whose suppliers were tied to the violent Mexican gang known as Los Zetas.
Courtney Demon Clayton, 27, also must serve a five-year period of post-prison supervision by federal investigators, U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson ruled.
Clayton is among 16 people charged with Willie “Gator” Jones, 38, for conspiracy and distribution of cocaine in Baton Rouge. Members of the Baton Rouge group and their Houston suppliers also smuggled cocaine to Mobile, Ala., and Philadelphia, federal court records show.
Jones was sentenced in April to 27 years in federal prison.
Jose Ricardo Ramirez, 34, of Houston, was sentenced in October to 30 years in prison. Ramirez was among a group alleged to have used cocaine profits to purchase submachine guns and other weapons that were smuggled to Los Zetas in Mexico.
Clayton was a first-time offender whose sentencing guidelines ranged from 70 months to 80 months in prison.
His attorney, J. Rodney Baum, asked for a 70-month term, arguing that Clayton “was not a major participant.”
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Kleinpeter, the lead prosecutor in the investigation, said: “We believe he should be at the higher end of that scale.”
“You squandered a number of very important opportunities,” Jackson told Clayton before sentencing him to 75 months in prison.