URBANA, Ill. (AP) -- A former Decatur street gang leader was sentenced Friday to life imprisonment without parole for his role in an extensive drug trafficking operation.
William Ellzey, 25, was convicted by a federal jury in May on drug conspiracy charges, U.S. Attorney Frances C. Hulin said in a news release. He is the brother of Thomas Ellzey, 27, former governor or local leader of the Gangster Disciples in Decatur, who is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to similar charges.
Prosecutors said William Ellzey was an assistant governor of the organization, which distributed cocaine and crack in Decatur. They said William Ellzey maintained a network of street dealers, enforced discipline among them, collected drug debts, provided security and protected the gang's territory.
More than 25 defendants have been convicted in a federal investigation of the Chicago-based gang's Decatur operations, Hulin said.