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Ottawan gets prison for drugs, gun

"I've been a failure. I've left my family to fend for themselves."

Those were the words 39-year-old Ottawa man Anthony Orozco said before he was sentenced to prison Thursday for selling cocaine in Ottawa and illegally possessing a gun. Orozco, who has to serve almost 11 years, has been in jail since his arrest Feb. 2. He also has to pay fine and fees of $14,850.

Orozco sold cocaine last winter to a relative who was working as an undercover police informant. Already a felon, Orozco had a .38-caliber handgun during the drug deals. In each deal, Orozco received $1,200 for about 27 grams of cocaine.

Prosecutor Laura Hall said Orozco told the informant he had guns with different firing pins and barrels, so if a person was shot with one of the guns, the pin and barrel could be switched out to foil police attempts to link the gun to the victim.

Orozco also told the informant he had stolen the .38-caliber, which he had on him, from a "cop" 10 years before.

Hall said Orozco claimed to have moved from Chicago to Ottawa to escape gang life, but brought such life with him, continuing to sell drugs, but not using them himself.

During the sentencing hearing Thursday, Orozco told Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr. the informant-relative set him up by giving Orozco the story he needed cocaine or else he was going to be in trouble with some sinister people. As a result, Orozco sold his relative the drugs to ostensibly rescue the relative from a tight spot.

Orozco also said he was under stress at the time because of divorce and money problems. Orozco added he raised his five children alone during the past several years and held a job for 13 years. A point echoed by his attorney, Douglas Olivero, of Peru.

Orozco said after police arrested him, they asked if he would work with them to trap other local drug dealers, but he told them he didn't know any, having obtained the cocaine from his "old neighborhood in Chicago." Being he had no local drug contacts, police told him he was of no use as an informant.

Orozco grew emotional at times in court Thursday; family members in the courtroom also shed tears.

In determining Orozco's sentence, Ryan pointed out an aggravating factor was Orozco "mixed drug sales with guns."

Orozco was sent to prison in 2003 for recklessly firing a gun.

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