November 2, 1996 in City

Drug Dealer Faces 20 Years In Prison

From Staff Reports
 

A man who has ties to a California drug gang faces a minimum of 20 years in federal prison after being convicted of drug dealing in Spokane.

Robert E. Brown, 21, who moved to Spokane in 1993, was convicted Thursday by a U.S. District Court jury.

He was found guilty of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine.

The jury verdict was returned after a three-day trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Skibbie said because of the amount of drugs involved and Brown’s two prior felony convictions, he faces a minimum-mandatory sentence of 20 years.

He will remain in jail until sentencing in early February by Judge Fred Van Sickle.

Brown was arrested on Oct. 25, 1995, by drug task force officers who seized a half-pound of crack cocaine, with a street value estimated at $40,000. It was packaged in 35 individual quarter-ounce packets for street sales, Skibbie said.

The prosecutor said Brown is a confirmed member of the Palmer Block Crips, a Los Angeles-area drug gang.

The crack cocaine was brought to Spokane from Los Angeles by co-defendant Calvin L. Payne, 37, who lived at 720 N. Perry, authorities said.

Payne will be tried at a later date on a federal drug conspiracy charge. He currently is serving a state prison term in Oregon for an unrelated offense.

Brown was arrested after a high-speed chase during which four police cars were damaged. He later was convicted in state court and is serving a jail term for attempting to elude police and third-degree assault.

, DataTimes

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