|Claude X (mug shot GCSO)|
A Springfield man will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for luring young women and teenaged girls into a drug trafficking conspiracy.
A jury convicted Claude X of conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana in Greene County, Mo., from Jan. 9, 2007, to Oct. 29, 2008. In addition to the conspiracy, X was found guilty of nine counts related to distributing drugs and two counts of illegally possessing a firearm.
Co-defendants Christina X, 23 (no relation to Claude X), and Aarika McKenzie Tracy, 30, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy. Tracy was sentenced on June 17, 2010, to four years in federal prison without parole. Christina X, who has yet to be sentenced, faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole.
Two other girls, who were wards of the stated and living in a shelter, testified that Claude X paid for them to stay at a hotel before he moved them into an apartment to peddle his drugs.
Because Claude X has previous drug trafficking convictions, he was sentenced to life on this drug conviction, plus five years on the weapon charge without parole.
X and his family used safety deposit boxes at a Springfield bank to store the illegal drugs and the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy. They also purchased certificates of deposit with their drug-trafficking profits.