Man gets 5-year sentence in $25 million drug plot He had testified against his uncle

September 13, 1997|By Alec Klein | Alec Klein,SUN STAFF

The third and last man in custody in the largest drug case in Maryland history was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison.

What began as an elaborate plot to move more than a ton of cocaine worth $25 million ended at the Vince Lombardi rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike in a February arrest. Son testified against father. Nephew turned on uncle. The nephew, Jose Orozco-Alba, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and testified against his uncle in exchange for yesterday's sentence meted out by U.S. District Judge Frederic N. Smalkin.

"He showed a lot of courage," the judge said of Orozco-Alba's testimony.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Kay called it "remarkable."

"I would like to regain my freedom as soon as possible so I can be with my wife and children," Orozco-Alba, 30, said through an interpreter. "I am thoroughly repentant."

As he spoke, his wife covered her face with her hands and her 3- and 6-year-old sons played with Spiderman action figures in the courtroom gallery.

"He was living in poverty in New York working as a limousine dispatcher," said Timothy J. Sullivan, his court-appointed attorney, after the sentencing hearing. "He just made a terrible decision to make money, and now he's going to prison."

As part of his sentence, Orozco-Alba is being recommended for an intensive boot camp prison program that could lead to an earlier release. He also must pay $100 in a special assessment and will be under five years of supervised release after serving his sentence.

His uncle, Luis Francisco Alba, 49, of Miami, was convicted in August of conspiring to distribute cocaine and is to be sentenced Oct. 17. Alba's son, Oscar Orlando Alba, 29, also of Miami, was sentenced this month to nearly 4 1/2 years in prison.

Two other men indicted in the drug case remain at large.

Pub Date: 9/13/97

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