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Demitoris Alexander

Two men's convictions and sentences for their roles in a large-scale and violent drug trafficking ring in the Baton Rouge area have been affirmed by a federal appellate court.

Demitoris "Big Tachi" Alexander, 53, of Gonzales, and Colin Knox, 40, of Baton Rouge, were found guilty in March 2018 in federal district court in Baton Rouge.

Alexander, who authorities said was a leader in the organization and trafficked hundreds of pounds of cocaine from Houston to the Baton Rouge metro area and elsewhere in 2013, was sentenced to life in prison.

Knox, who was described as the drug ring's enforcer, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans let stand the convictions and sentences of Alexander and Knox on Monday.

Alexander's son, Tachi "Little Tachi" Williams, 33, of Gonzales, is serving a nine-year federal prison term in the drug case. Williams pleaded guilty.

The drug trafficking organization used a now-defunct Baton Rouge day care center on Swan Avenue — Emmanuel Child Development and Learning Center — to stash drugs, federal authorities have said.

Federal prosecutors said Alexander recruited female couriers to travel to Houston in vehicles with secret compartments to transport money to Houston and bring back cocaine from that city.

More than three dozen defendants were convicted in the drug case.

Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.