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One of the five people involved in what prosecutors say is “one of the largest drug rings in Harford County” was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Known as the Mack Organization, the ring had operated in Harford County since the mid-1990s with at least 30 members dealing crack and cocaine.

At the helm of the ring, which was busted in August 2008, were two sisters, Candis Unita Mack and Tanya Valencia Mack, and their brother, Winston Charles Mack, and two other associates, Tanya Mack’s boyfriend, Fernando Alexander Settles, and Derrick Lamont Prather.

Prather, 33, of Havre de Grace, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr., to 15 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for possession with the intent to distribute over a pound of powder cocaine.

The center of the Mack Organization’s activity was in the Edgewood and Joppa areas, spread down the Route 40 corridor to Aberdeen and Havre de Grace. The ring also was known to do business in Bel Air, northern Harford County and western Cecil County, police said.

Their primary supply source was in New Jersey, police said, but they also had other suppliers in Baltimore.

According to Prather’s plea agreement, as part of an investigation into drug dealing in Harford County, investigators learned that Candis Mack would be traveling to New Jersey on Feb. 12, 2008, to buy cocaine. As she drove back to Maryland, Maryland State Police stopped her car on a traffic violation and seized cocaine and $2,600. She was arrested and released after posting bond.

From Feb. 29 to March 3, 2008, Prather and Candis Mack discussed by phone the quantity and price of cocaine. On March 5, 2008, investigators searched Prather’s residence and seized more than 11 ounces of cocaine, a digital scale, a cutting agent known as inositol and more than $10,000.

Candis Mack, 34, of Joppa, has been sentenced to 135 months in prison for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. On April 10, 2009, a jury convicted co-defendants Settles, 28, of Abingdon, and Winston Charles Mack, age 33, of Edgewood, of drug trafficking offenses; they were sentenced to 20 years and 11 years and four months in prison, respectively. Tanya Valencia Mack is awaiting trial.

In a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore announcing the Prather sentence, several law enforcement officials were mentioned for their cooperation, including Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane; Col. Terrence Sheridan, superintendent of the Maryland State Police; Chief Randy Rudy, of the Aberdeen Police Department; Chief Teresa Walter, of the Havre de Grace Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Ava Cooper-Davis, of the Drug Enforcement Administration-Washington Field Division; and Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly.

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