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Racketeering: inmate from Baltimore pleads guilty

Friday - 9/28/2012, 12:32pm  ET

BEAUMONT, Texas - A federal inmate from Baltimore charged in the 2008 death of cellmate in Texas has pleaded guilty to racketeering counts.

Prosecutors in Texas say James Sweeney will receive a life term for his role in leading a prison gang called Dead Man Inc. Sweeney remains in the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex.

Authorities on Thursday said Sweeney pleaded guilty to counts including conspiracy to commit murder in Maryland. Sweeney in 2000 founded DMI and offered to arrange "hits" on fellow inmates while imprisoned in Maryland and at the federal lockup in Texas. Prosecutors also linked Sweeney to drug smuggling.

Sweeney still faces a murder charge over the slaying of Ronald Joseph, whose was found strangled in his cell. Another federal inmate, Harry Lee Napper, also has been charged in the killing.


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