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A man received a sentence of seven years in prison after he admitted shooting and killing a 24-year-old D.C. man. Another man got a sentence of 18 years in prison after his conviction for a $600, half-ounce cocaine deal. The two men were sentenced in the same federal courthouse in Washington. They stood before the same judge. They were co-defendants in the same trial.
More than three years ago, a federal jury acquitted Antwaun Ball on racketeering and conspiracy charges that he led a violent drug gang in the Congress Park neighborhood in Southeast Washington, convicting him solely of a $600, half-ounce drug deal. U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts disagreed, sentencing Ball to more than 18 years in prison.
Analysts disagree on the use of acquitted conduct to sentence Ball, but those on both sides of the issue say the difference in punishments for Ball and Samuels appears stark.
Ball, who was acquitted of murder charges in the case, admitted selling drugs but said he wasn't the person prosecutors portrayed during trial and at his sentencing.