Defendant sentenced to 15 years in federal drug case
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
10/03/12 at 6:49 AM
A Tulsa man was sentenced Tuesday to 15 years in prison in a federal drug case that had its origins in the investigation of the 2008 killing of Tulsa businessman Neal Sweeney.
Germain Harris, 39, was also ordered by U.S. Chief District Judge Gregory Frizzell to pay $1,500 in financial penalties as part of the sentence.
Harris was charged with Alonzo "Jack" Johnson, 40, in an April 3 indictment.
Although Harris is not implicated in Sweeney's death, Johnson is charged in Tulsa County District Court with participating in a conspiracy to kill Sweeney.
Johnson is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 3.
Johnson was arrested May 12, 2010, in connection with the Sweeney slaying after leaving an automobile renovation shop in the 100 block of South 111th East Avenue.
A gun was found under a couch seat cushion at the shop; plastic bags with drug residue were found in the trash; and cocaine, crack cocaine and the components of a "crack lab" were found in the trunk of a car associated with Harris, Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Litchfield said during his closing argument in June.
Harris was found guilty June 20 of possessing cocaine with an intent to manufacture crack, possessing crack and powder cocaine with an intent to distribute, and maintaining a place for manufacturing and distributing cocaine.
Frizzell determined that Harris was responsible for 256.3 grams of crack and 27.63 grams of powder cocaine.
On Tuesday, Frizzell ruled that Harris, who was also found guilty of a weapons charge, qualified as an "armed career criminal" under federal law.
The designation, which applies to someone with at least three convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses, means that Harris can receive no less than 15 years in prison.
Harris' relevant prior convictions involved drug crimes committed over a two-week span in Rogers County 20 years ago as a teenager, which caused Frizzell to slightly reduce Harris' sentencing guideline range.
Johnson, who is charged in the indictment with possessing a gun despite having a felony record, will not have a federal trial until the state's homicide case against him is resolved, according to Litchfield.
Harris will be under court supervision for eight years after his eventual release from prison, Frizzell decided.
Original Print Headline: Drug defendant gets 15 years
David Harper 918-581-8359
Germain Harris and Alonzo "Jack" Johnson: Harris' convictions on cocaine charges, involving intent to manufacture and intent to distribute, are tied to the 2010 arrest of Johnson, who is charged with participating in a conspiracy to kill Tulsa businessman Neal Sweeney. Harris, also found guilty of a gun charge, is not implicated in Sweeney's 2008 slaying. Johnson is scheduled for trial Dec. 3.