Something seems upside down in this story from the Post-Gazette.
Maybe I don't understand all the terms used for people involved in the drug trade, but "ringleader" sounds like the person in charge of the ring. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company) says it is "a person who leads others, especially in illicit or informal activities. "
I am not downplaying the value of cooperation with law enforcement, but I have to wonder whether this pattern of sentencing places higher accountability on those who give greater leadership to the drug trade.
Can anyone illuminate this for me?
Update 10-15-05. The Valley News-Dispatch yesterday had a better article on the convictions. This story explained a bit more about the roles of the people who were convicted, saying that the two "were considered the top players in a drug ring that law-enforcement agencies broke up in 2002."