Drug Dealer Sentenced to Life, or Maybe 30 Years

Drug Dealer Sentenced to Life, or Maybe 30 Years

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Drug dealer Irven Douglas Adams has been sentenced to a mandatory term of life in federal prison.

However, the constitutionality of the federal sentencing guidelines is now before the U.S. Supreme Court, so U.S. District Court Judge Dale Kimball on Tuesday also announced a backup sentence of 30 years should the guidelines be struck down.

Adams, 36, said he was being treated unfairly, pointing out that many of his co-defendants had agreed to testify against him in exchange for more lenient punishment.

"I was accused of committing crimes with them that they were not held accountable for," he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Lund said Adams was one of the state's biggest drug dealers.

Defense attorney David Leavitt has argued that Adams was no drug kingpin but instead was a former paid informant, known as Big Daddy Delicious, who was betrayed by the government after he fell out of favor.

A federal court jury on July 12 found Adams guilty on 17 drug and money-laundering charges.

Adams was one of 24 people indicted in 2003 on charges of running the meth operation, which prosecutors say sold hundreds of pounds of the drug and raked in nearly $5 million from 2001 to 2003.

He was the only one to go to trial, as 21 others pleaded guilty and two remain fugitives.

Among those sentenced was Niels Orrin Yergensen, 44, who authorities said was the main leader in the cartel. Kimball sentenced Yergensen earlier this month to 20 years in prison.

Almost $1 million in assets, including cash, homes, cars, boats, snowmobiles and jewelry, was forfeited in the case.

Kimball signed an order of forfeiture for $952,086 against Adams, representing the value of meth distributed and money laundered.

Three Salt Lake area businesses that the government contended were fronts for the drug operations were closed. One was Adams' Up in Smoke. The others were the Discount Cigarette Factory Outlet and Alachi's Bar and Grill.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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