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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 1, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Photobombing crack dealer gets 7 1/2 years

A convicted crack dealer who tried to win a reduced sentence by submitting to the court photos of himself posing with a slew of Seattle city officials was sentenced this afternoon to 7 1/2 years in prison.

Ali Abukar Mohamed, 30, was convicted of selling crack cocaine in a school zone earlier this year. Because the drug sales took place within four blocks of an elementary school, Mohamed faced a standard sentence of up to 8½ years, including 72 months from three mandatory two-year school zone enhancements.

Mohamed — a first-time offender who had turned down a plea deal that would have netted him a sentence of 30 to 90 days in work release — asked the court in a sentencing memorandum to give him a sentence below the standard range.

In support of his request, he submitted to the court in advance of sentencing nine reference letters from leaders of local charities and community organizations, and the names and signatures of more than 200 supporters.

He also included more than a dozen photos taken of him with Seattle city officials, police officers and other members of the community, including Mayor Ed Murray, newly appointed Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and City Attorney Pete Holmes.

Mohamed’s attorney, Howard Phillips, said the photos did not constitute endorsements of his client by those pictured, but said they were intended to show Mohamed’s involvement in the South Seattle community.

The city officials in the pictures did not know that their photos would be used in Mohamed’s court filing.

Mohamed, who supports his pregnant wife, three children and mother, had asked the court to consider alternative sentences such as a Family Sentencing Alternative sentence that would net him 12 months of probation, or the 30- to 90-day work-release sentence originally offered by prosecutors in their plea deal.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: crack dealer, King County Superior Court, photobomb

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