Roxbury gang leader gets 15 years on coke charges

Owens Brown, 34, former leader of the Academy Homes gang, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison last week after pleading guilty to cocaine distribution between 2007 and 2011 - some of the sales arranged through phone calls from the Suffolk County jail, where he spent a month after an arrest for driving with a suspended license.

The period covers the time during which federal and Boston Police investigators say they had Brown - who has a tattoo showing an X'ed out rat with the words "I will never tell" above it - under surveillance and watched or listened as he distributed a total of 2.8 kilograms of cocaine.

According to a sentencing recommendation by the US Attorney's office, the authorities' first attempt to have an informant buy drugs didn't end well - the man showed up with money but was instead robbed at gunpoint by an Academy Homes member.

In 2008, a second informant successfully bought an ounce of coke from Brown for $1,100, the feds say, adding he then made a second buy - 2 ounces of coke for $2,000 - a week later.

The trail then went dry until Brown got locked up for driving with a suspended license - and officials monitored his phone calls, through which he managed to arrange drug sales - referring to drug packages to be delivered to customers as "sneakers."

A co-defendant, Archie Allen, is scheduled for sentencing next month.



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