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Associated Press, Published May 08 2013

Man accused in ND cocaine case sentenced to prison

FARGO — A Canadian man accused of leading a conspiracy to sell drugs in North Dakota and other states has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

Jerome Catacutan pleaded guilty earlier to conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver a controlled substance and a charge of money laundering.

Authorities say Catacutan admitted that he tried to buy 30 kilograms of cocaine from undercover agents. He allegedly engaged in ongoing negotiations with U.S. agents posing as large-scale cocaine traffickers.

Court documents show that the agents met with Catacutan at a Bloomington, Minn., bar in October 2009.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson on Wednesday sentenced Catacutan to 90 months in prison, with credit for 21 months served.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

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