Fugitive Oakland drug dealer gets 20 more years
A man who prosecutors say supplied heroin to members of a violent Oakland gang in the early 1990s before disappearing for more than a dozen years was sentenced this week to 20 more years in prison atop the 16-year sentence he already had.
Donnell Hatcher, now 43, was indicted by a federal grand jury in August 1992 on charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and several counts of using a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking.
He pleaded guilty in June 1993 to possession with intent to distribute, admitting he had driven from the Los Angeles area to Oakland with 445 grams of heroin hidden in the tire of his car. He was selling to a local drug ring led by kingpin Timothy Bluitt, who in 1994 was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.
Hatcher never showed up for his November 1993 sentencing, and remained a fugitive until his May 2006 arrest in Alabama. There, he was convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, attempt to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and felon in possession of a firearm, and was sentenced to 16 years and eight months in federal prison.
Then authorities returned him to Northern California, where a judge denied his motions to withdraw his 1992 guilty plea. U.S. District Judge William Shubb sentenced him Tuesday to 20 years for that earlier case, to run consecutive to the 16 years from the federal case in Alabama. Hatcher was indicted last June for failing to appear for his 1993 sentencing; he pleaded guilty in July, but a hearing on his motion to withdraw that plea is scheduled for March 11.
By Josh Richman
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