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BILLINGS - A 35-year-old man who pleaded guilty to his involvement in a large cocaine distribution ring was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in federal prison.

Andrew Beavers was the last of 10 defendants to be sentenced by District Judge Richard Cebull for helping to bring at least 11 pounds of cocaine to the Billings area. Beavers pleaded guilty in January to a conspiracy charge and was held responsible for 50 grams of crack cocaine. The judge dismissed 38 other counts.

Prosecutors said the distribution ring ran from 2003 until 2006 and brought drugs to the area from Washington state and Colorado. Some of the defendants were accused of converting powder cocaine into crack cocaine for smoking.

"This was, without a doubt, an extensive cocaine conspiracy," Cebull said.

The other defendants convicted in the case include Beavers' brother Adrien Beavers, Tracy Harper, Esak Fessahaye Abraham, Jason McCalister, Medora Nanoff, Tyrone Jackson, Julian T. Mathis, Frank Sims and Stephen Berg.

Andrew Beavers' sentence was the longest, while Berg's 5-year sentence was the shortest.

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