An Ogden man who helped crack what federal prosecutors described as a major Utah drug ring has pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing cocaine near a school.
Sammy Washington, 25, entered his plea Friday as part of a plea arrangement after a two-count grand jury indictment against him was unsealed last week.In return, Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Cooke agreed to recommend that U.S. District Judge David Winder depart from strict mandatory federal guidelines in sentencing Washington.
Washington faces a maximum prison term of 20 years and a fine of $1 million on the first count and a maximum of 40 years and fine of $2 million on the second count. The second count also carries a minimum mandatory five-year prison term that Cooke has asked Winder to consider waiving.
According to the March 28 indictment, Washington was charged with distributing cocaine base within 1,000 feet of an Ogden school on Feb. 22 and again on March 23.
He admitted he had distributed the substance and agreed to cooperate with investigators in arresting his drug suppliers and associates.
A subsequent investigation led to the arrest and later convictions of five men police said were selling crack cocaine to children at Central and Mount Ogden middle schools, Ogden High School and Vae View Elementary School in Layton.
Byron Earl Davenport, 24; Michael Davis, 33; Leon Stelly, 33; Robert Atkinson, 19; and Ronald McEwan, 31, all await November sentencings on charges they pleaded guilty to in September.