May 19, 2005, 5:33 AM
DETROIT (AP) -- A former civilian police employee who admitted stealing at least 220 pounds of cocaine from the department's evidence room -- replacing some of it with baking flour -- was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
John Earl Cole Sr., 53, of Detroit, pleaded guilty in August 2004 to one count each of conspiracy to distribute at least five kilograms (11 pounds) of cocaine and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara.
Cole used his drug-trafficking proceeds to buy houses and other buildings in Detroit, disguising ownership by placing title to the properties in the names of relatives and associates, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.