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Friday, September 08, 2017 1:00 am

Man, 66, gets life for federal drug charges

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne man was sentenced in federal court Thursday to life in prison for conspiring to deal cocaine and heroin.

Larry Norton, 66, was found guilty after a six-day jury trial in May.

The jury convicted him of conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and 1 kilogram or more of heroin. U.S. District Court Judge Theresa Springmann sentenced him to life imprisonment.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Indiana's northern district said Norton faced a mandatory minimum life sentence without release because he has at least two prior felony drug convictions.

Norton's criminal history includes two convictions for dealing and distributing cocaine – one federal and one state conviction – and another conviction for possessing cocaine, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Norton was one of five men indicted by a federal grand jury in January 2015 on charges related to heroin and cocaine distribution.

In November 2014, Norton was pulled over on Interstate 69 in DeKalb County.

Inside his pickup truck were a number of secret compartments and $400,000 in cash.

The case was investigated by the FBI Fort Wayne Safe Streets Task Force, which includes FBI, Indiana State Police, Allen County Police Department and the Fort Wayne Police Department.

jchapman@jg.net