Nine Others Also Get Prison Terms
By HOLLY GATLING
State Saff Writer
Convicted South Carolina crime boss Newby Franklin Love received a 70-year prison sentence Monday for organizing international cocaine – and marijuana-smuggling ventures.
Under the sentence, the 48-year-old Love, fingered as the kingpin in a scheme to import nearly half a ton of cocaine into Sumter last Dec. 20, will serve more than 30 years in prison before he is eligible for release.
He is the first person in South Carolina to be convicted of operating a continuing criminal enterprise under a law aimed at the heads of organized crime and carrying a possible sentence of life without parole.
Love and nine others were sentenced Monday in U. S. District Court after either being convicted of or pleading guilty to involvement in drug-smuggling and racketeering enterprises.
Two of the nine, Sune Robinson Youngblood, 40 of Stone Mountain and Richmond Hills, Ga., and Robert E. “Bobby” Lee, 49, formerly of Sumter, received 35 year and 25 years respectively for their participation in the smuggling business.
Others received sentences ranging from 20 years to 30 months.
“I do not see where mercy is indicated in this case in the slightest degree,” U.S. District Judge Charles E. Simons Jr. said before imposing the sentences.
He gave Love a 50-year prison sentence, which carries no parole, for operating a continuing criminal enterprise, and he gave him a concurrent 20-year sentence for racketeering activities, which prosecution witnesses said included robbing and assaulting his alleged competitors in the drug-peddling and gambling businesses.
Although the 50-year sentence carried no parole, the sentence can be reduced by about 15 years for “good time.” Good time can be taken away, however, as punishment for misbehavior or crimes committed while in prison.
Love, bearded and bespectacled, seemed agitated at the sentencing hearing and charged that Simons was prejudiced against him.
“I feel like I’ve been on train since Dec. 20 and that train’s only going to Richmond,” Love said, referring to the U. S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., where his appeal will be reviewed.
“So far you’ve been tooting the whistle,” Love told the judge. “I haven’t been tooting the whistle.”
Referring to the bales of marijuana and duffel bag packed with cocaine that sat in the courtroom as evidence during the three-week trial, Love compared himself to a man convicted of raping two 5-year-old girls simply because the prosecutor brought them into the courtroom.
“I feel like this is one of the biggest miscarriages of justice I’ve ever seen,” Love said, at times pounding his fist for emphasis. Love said he disagrees with those who day the drug problem ranks fist on the county’s list of ills.
“Unemployment is the biggest problem in this country,” he said. “Unemployment creates crime. The newspaper has a tendency to blame everything on drugs. But unemployment is what’s going to destroy us.”
Love, a Columbia businessman who bought and sold used cars amoung other ventures, was the son of a blacksmith and worked since he was 5 years old, Robert E. “Bobby” Kneece, his attorney, said.
“He’s never had a drink in his life,” Kneece said, and he has never taken drugs except for Valium, which is prescribed for “a bad stomach situation.”
Kneece urged Simons not to let his sentence be “a reaction to the press or such that Mr. Love cannot return to society.”
“I’m not concerned about the press,” Simons replied. “I;m Concerned about the public’s interest.”
Other sentenced Monday were:
Louise Alphone Gonzales-Fuentez, the confessed co-pilot of the cociane plane, to 20 years with 20 years’ special parole. Special parole begins after regular parole ends and, if violated, can result in the parolee serving the entire sentence over again.
Millard Waites and Ken Davidson, to 10 years each for their confessed involvement in a conspirarcy to import marijuana by repairing a private airstrip on Bobby Lee’s farm in Sumter County and by waiting to unload the plane, which ran out of fuel and landed in Florida.
Simons stipulated that the parole authorities may release either man at their discretion, making early release possible. Both Waites and Davidson were convicted in 1980 in a scheme to import hundreds of pounds of marijuana into Darlington County.
Bruce L. Schultze, 29, of Columbia, to seven years and seven years’ special parole for possession with intent to distribute of cocaine, which he testified he obtained from Love. Simons stipulated that the parole authorities may release Schultze at their discretion, making it possible for an early release.
Charleston brothers Paul and Thaddeus Mazell, to 42 months each for their admitted involvement as part of a ground crew that was to unload marijuana from an ill-fated Lockheed Lodestar that was to land in Sumter last November. The plane exploded and crashed moments after takeoff from Colombia, South America.
Richard Wayne Rogers of Camden, to 30 months for assisting Love in an attempt to land a marijuana-ladened plane at the Blaney Drag Strip in Kershaw County. Because of radio communication failure, the pilot, Timothy Roy Revera, landed instead at Owens Field in Columbia and abandoned the load. He is still being sought by authorities.
After the sentencings, U. S. Attorney Henry Dargan McMaster said, “I hope that these sentences will send a message loud and clear to the drug smugglers and other criminals that the people of South Carolina are sick and tired of the misery they have been causing us and that we will do everything we can to catch them, convict them and send them to jail.”