Houston Trucker Gets 20 Years in Pa. Coke Pipeline

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A Texas trucker who drove cocaine to western Pennsylvania in his tractor-trailer has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

Forty-six-year-old Gathon Dudley Shannon, of Houston, was sentenced Monday by a federal judge in Pittsburgh. He had previously been convicted in December of participating in a drug conspiracy involving a former assistant western Pennsylvania high school football coach.

That man, 37-year-old Carlos Cleckley, has pleaded guilty and is scheduled for sentencing Thursday. He formerly coached at Beaver Falls High School, about 30 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

The investigation began when Shannon was arrested in October 2011 after authorities found more than 35 pounds of cocaine and $669,000 in his truck.

The group was moving about 18 pounds of cocaine monthly in 2010 and increased that amount once they began using trucks like Shannon's in 2011.