Four sentenced in drug gang member's torture

(Photo: Associated Press)

This is a cautionary tale about five young men and women in the D.C. area who decided to put their heads together and start a drug gang. They began selling PCP early last year, but one of them soon became disillusioned with the gang after being arrested for PCP possession — a member was in the car with him, but took no blame — and because, in a separate incident, a member watched while he was attacked.

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This man, an unnamed 20-year-old, decided to get his revenge by breaking into an apartment shared by two members, and stealing their PCP and a gun. According to the U.S. Attorney's office of D.C. [pdf], four members of the gang responded by kidnapping him, wrapping him in duct tape, and then burning, beating, and generally torturing him until he confessed to the theft. Then they beat him some more, took his pants off, and threw him in a dumpster.

The victim lived, and his four former partners — Jammal Hale, 24, Patrick Waldrop, 21, Ramona Watson, 30, and Devin Burgess, 24 — were convicted in April on various charges. Several days ago, they were sentenced to between seven and 17 years in prison. So, by "cautionary tale," we mean "don't start drug gangs, and certainly don't kidnap and torture people, because you will go to jail for an uncomfortably long time."

[Examiner]

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