A federal judge said it was difficult to give hard time to a young man, but he nonetheless issued a 50-year sentence to Namond Earl Williams, the 23-year-old nephew of drug boss Linwood R. "Rudy" Williams, for narcotics, conspiracy and money-laundering convictions.
"Society just can't permit this kind of activity to go on," Senior Judge Frank A. Kaufman said yesterday after sentencing Namond Williams, who was convicted last year with his uncle.
"Mr. Namond Wilson played a tremendously important role in the organized drug activity that dominated and terrorized a large section of our community and hurt a lot of people."
Kaufman said he imposed the 50-year term because of Namond Williams' involvement in his uncle's drug organization and his statement at the sentencing hearing that federal prosecutors should have sought stiff penalties against drug importers instead of him.
"He stands before the court today as a totally bitter man, who thinks the law treated him unfairly, who wants to play down his own role, who wants to play up the role of others," the judge said.
He noted that testimony last week indicated Namond Williams recently was arranging drug deals from jail.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine J. Armentrout, who led a three-lawyer prosecution team, said Namond Williams supervised at least seven people in the drug operation and under federal guidelines faced a sentence of 30 years to life. She had requested a 50-year term.
"In this case we have Namond Williams acting as president of a company in which Linwood Rudy Williams was the chairman of the board," Armentrout said. "Namond Williams controlled a subsidiary. Namond Williams was responsible for a lot of drug deals that went on."
Namond Williams, his uncle and four other people were convicted last March 20 in a $2 million, 66-day trial that followed an investigation of Linwood Williams' drug organization. The probe stretched to New York, Washington, Canada, Nigeria and Brazil and included court-ordered wiretaps.
Armentrout said Namond Williams was recorded in "the most chilling of wiretap conversations," including one in which he talked about the need for "a super-mean killing machine."
"We all recognize that Namond Williams is a young person, but during the time of his young life he has been involved in narcotics and violence," said Armentrout, who was joined at the prosecution table by Assistant U.S. Atttorney Andrea L. Smith and state prosecutor Howard B. Gersh.
James R. Nolan Jr., Namond Williams' court-appointed lawyer, argued that his client should not get more than 33 years in prison under the federal guidelines.
He argued that Williams was only 17 when he began working with his uncle in 1986 and that it was unlikely that he controlled the activities of older people. He said his client also grew up without good role models.
"If you look at the age, the immaturity and the people who were impressing him," Nolan said, "you'd look at the lower end of the sentencing guidelines."
Namond Williams, wearing a white warm-up suit and white Reebok sneakers, admitted that he "got caught-up" in the drug business. "I'm willing to pay for it, but you can't take my life away like that," he said.
He said bigger drug dealers were given "sweet deals" to testify against him. "I don't see how you all feel that sacrificing me for major export-import people is going to change anything," he said.
Kaufman said Namond Williams was treated fairly by prosecutors and that he dealt drugs without considering who might be harmed. He said he was convinced Williams would resume his drug-dealing if he were released.