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2 MEN GIVEN MONTHS IN JAIL FOR SELLING DRUGS

A former Buffalo firefighter and another man convicted of selling cocaine out of a firehouse were sentenced Friday to less than a year in prison, the U.S. attorney's office announced.

Russell S. McCleod, who had been assigned to Ladder 7 at the time he was indicted in August 1997, and Donald E. Burgin, an employee of Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems, were sentenced to six and seven months in prison, respectively, and three years probation. They could have received up to 20 years.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr., who prosecuted the cases, both were convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine after selling cocaine to an informant in August 1996 inside an Elmwood Avenue firehouse.

Four other men -- including three former firefighters -- pleaded guilty to federal drug-trafficking charges stemming from the 22-month investigation by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. The other former firefighters were Jeffery Craig, Roger Hofschneider and Dunbar Smith. The fourth defendant was Ricky Harrison.

Craig was sentenced Jan. 20 to concurrent, four-year terms of probation for distributing cocaine and tax evasion. Last Aug. 21, Smith was sentenced to five months in prison and three years probation for distributing crack cocaine. Sentencing for Hofschneider and Harrison is pending.

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