Man who led ‘family’ drug ring gets life in prison

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri man who recruited women and young girls for an elaborate drug trafficking ring has been sentenced to life in prison.

The U.S. attorney says 51-year-old Claude X was sentenced Thursday to life in prison plus five years for distribution of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana in the Springfield area.

Claude legally changed his last name to X. The U.S. attorney says the recruits had to earn the right to change their last names to X.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Christina X and 30-year-old Aarika McKenzie Tracy also pleaded guilty to their roles in the ring. Tracy was sentenced to four years in prison. Christina X has not been sentenced.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Claude X had at least four apartments in Springfield and a home in Nixa. Prosecutors say he also rented more than 100 nights in a Springfield hotel, where women would stay before being moved to the apartments or home to sell drugs.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com

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