- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Franklin man described by authorities as a gang leader has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on drug and firearms convictions.

Forty-one-year-old Phillip Jerome Murphy pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to distribute heroin and possessing a gun during a drug trafficking crime. He was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Norfolk.

According to court documents, Murphy and 37-year-old Collie Sanks of Emporia were leaders of a Bloods street gang known as the Red Stone Rydahs, which operated in the Franklin area. They made frequent trips to New York to buy bulk quantities of heroin for redistribution in southeast Virginia.

Sanks also pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge and is set for sentencing Jan. 27.

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