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Man sentenced in connection to drug operation

A Springfield man was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty earlier in the week to a first-degree felony cocaine charge in connection to a large-scale drug operation.

Leroy Lewis III, 31, will spend 11 years in prison and then spend five years on post release control. His driver's license will also be suspended for five years.

On Monday, Lewis plead guilty to possession of cocaine in an amount exceeding 100 grams. At the time of his arrest, Springfield police's narcotics squad located 246.97 grams of cocaine in the trunk of Lewis's 1996 Jaguar parked outside a property on Eaton Avenue.

Previously, Lewis rejected all plea offers from the prosecution. Only after his co-defendant, 41-year-old Pedro Arriaga-Reyes, accepted a similar agreement last week to serve 13 years in prison did Lewis agree to a deal. He faced the possibility of more than 40 years in prison as part of the 13-count indictment.

Springfield police had been investigating the drug operation since September 2012. Arriaga-Reyes supplied a kilo of cocaine at a time to Lewis and another man, Ebonyuwezo Jones. Jones was also indicted as part of the case in August, but he was shot and killed hours after his arraignment.

As part of the plea agreement, Lewis will have to forfeit any property seized as part of the case. Officers confiscated seven firearms, five vehicles and more than $50,000 in cash during their investigation.

Staff Writer Jessica Heffner contributed to this report.

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