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Associated Press, Published August 30 2010

Man sentenced for leading crack cocaine ring in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota

FARGO (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for leading a crack cocaine ring that stretched to North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota.

A jury in June found 26-year-old Ferris Lee guilty on 13 federal counts, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. He faced a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Myers said during Monday's sentencing hearing in Fargo that Lee ran "arguably the largest and most complicated" crack cocaine ring seen by federal prosecutors in North Dakota.

Defense attorney John Goff said there wasn't a large amount of cocaine seized in the case and the crime did not involve violence. He asked for a sentence of 30 years in prison.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.