Two sentenced for conspiracy in jail drug ring

October 14, 1999|By A SUN STAFF WRITER

Two conspirators in a jail drug ring masterminded by notorious heroin dealer John Edward "Liddy" Jones were sentenced yesterday to prison terms in federal court in Baltimore.

Joyce Y. Cottom, Jones' girlfriend, who arranged to buy the drugs and smuggle them to Jones at the Baltimore City Detention Center, was sentenced to 33 months in prison for conspiring to distribute heroin and marijuana.

Aaron Liles, Cottom's granddaughter's boyfriend, who collected money from friends and relatives of Jones' jail customers, got 30 months for drug conspiracy.

Last month, Jones, who dominated the city's heroin trade in the 1960s and early 1970s, was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison in the case. James A. Cromer, an inmate who helped Jones sell drugs in the city jail, was sentenced last month to 4 years and nine months.

Jones had been in the city jail for violating his 1994 parole from a 30-year federal drug sentence he received in 1973, when a government informant tipped prosecutors to the jail drug ring in fall 1997. Jones was convicted in April by a U.S. District Court jury of drug conspiracy.

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