Four Drug Ring Members Sentenced

Staff Report
Posted Friday, May 22, 2002

DAYTONA BEACH -- Four men who cooperated with authorities in their efforts to convict a high-level drug dealer were sentenced Tuesday in federal court for their roles in distributing cocaine and crack in the Daytona Beach area.

" They can't complain about their sentences," said Rick Jancha, senior litigation counsel for the U.S. Attorney's Office. "Two of them could have gotten life in prison."

Clyde Roy Gibson, 41, received a six-year sentence and Xavier Richardson, 32, got two years for distributing cocaine and crack.

Josea Laron Simmons, 25, received just under three years, and Steven Delta Green, 43, got nearly six years behind bars for the same crimes.

The sentences were handed down in Orlando by U.S. District Judge Anne C. Conway.

The four men worked for Patrick Torrence, the mastermind of a $54 million cocaine ring before it was dismantled last year by police. He pleaded guilty in November to drug trafficking and was sentenced Feb. 5 to life in prison.

Torrence did business in Central Florida, Alabama and Georgia for five years before the ring was smashed in June 2001, authorities said.
More than a dozen members of Torrence's gang have been convicted and sent to prison since November, Jancha said.

A June 11 sentencing is planned for Torrence's girlfriend, Melissa Ross, 30, of Daytona Beach. She faces 20 years in prison for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack.