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Scales of Justice

The third of 12 co-conspirators in a Madison cocaine distribution ring has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Timothy Hotchkiss, 30, was sentenced on Wednesday by US District Judge William Conley in court in Madison. He pleaded guilty in May to a charge of conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine.

According to a news release from the US Attorney's Office, Hotchkiss was a "highly trusted confidant" of Joseph Harper, one of the ringleaders of the cocaine distribution scheme, pooling money with Harper to buy larger amounts of cocaine shipped from Texas by a second ringleader, Gregory Smith.

Harper and Smith were sentenced earlier in July, with Harper getting 12 years in prison and Smith getting 11 years.

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Seven of the remaining nine co-defendants have pleaded guilty, but haven't been sentenced yet.

The scheme involved Smith sending packages of cocaine through the US Mail from Houston to Harper, to various addresses in Wisconsin and Iowa.

From November 2017 to November 2018, 32 packages were sent, with each package containing a half-kilogram to one kilogram of cocaine.

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