CRIME

Largo man sentenced on cocaine trafficking charges

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A Largo man was sentenced to nine years in jail Monday for conspiring to sell cocaine base, authorities announced. The 35-year-old sold or arranged to sell cocaine base to an informant on three separate occasions, then tried to intimidate that person to keep them from testifying, authorities said.

Tracy A. Alston pleaded guilty to selling or arranging the sale of cocaine base to an informant working with the Drug Enforcement Administration on three separate occasions. At the third time, Alston was arrested at the meeting location. Agents found 214 grams of cocaine base, a loaded revolver and $6,400 in his car.

Judge Richard D. Bennett enhanced Alston's sentence because he determined Alston to be a career offender. Alston had four previous convictions related to drug incidents and obstructing justice, police said.

While in jail awaiting trail, law enforcement officers said they intercepted a letter Alston sent to an associate. Alston wrote that he believed if the informant, whom he called the "Rat," did not "show," that he would be able to beat the charges against him. In this letter, Alston provided the informant's full name and address and wrote “Tell your brother to handle that, and my word is good on getting 5,000 to them." Alston admits this his letter was an attempt to obstruct justice by preventing the testimony of the informant.

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