U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. yesterday sent convicted drug-importer Leon Durwood Harvey to prison for 40 years, after a federal prosecutor said Harvey should be removed from society for the rest of his life.
Harvey, 37, of Alexandria, also was ordered by Bryan to forfeit all his assets and pay a $100,000 fine for his Jan. 15 convictions for racketeering and running a criminal enterprise that smuggled marijuana and hashish worth $36 million into the United States over an eight-year period.
Harvey also was found guilty of tax evasion, customs violations, money laundering and obstruction of justice at his three-day bench trial. Bryan acquitted Harvey of conspiring to transfer machine guns and abetting a customs law violation and unlawful interstate travel.
Harvey's lawyer, John K. Zwerling, asked Bryan yesterday to impose a 10-year sentence, noting that his client had not handled the more harmful drugs such as cocaine and PCP and that his crimes were nonviolent ones.
Prosecutor Karen P. Tandy said that Harvey, convicted of drug-related charges on two earlier occasions, deserved a long prison sentence.
Bryan sentenced Harvey to 30 years for the criminal enterprise conviction, a period during which Harvey will not be eligible for parole, though he may get time off for good behavior. Bryan then imposed a consecutive 10-year sentence for Harvey's obstruction of justice and tax evasion convictions.
Bryan also gave Harvey sentences totaling 128 years for his other convictions, but ordered those served concurrently to the first 40 years.
Zwerling told the court yesterday that Harvey will plead guilty here Tuesday to various drug-related charges outstanding in North Carolina. Harvey also faces drug-related charges in South Carolina.
Government witnesses at Harvey's trial included Robert Reckmeyer of McLean, who testified that he bought drugs from Harvey. Last year Reckmeyer and his brother Christopher pleaded guilty to running an operation that distributed millions of dollars' worth of drugs from Northern Virginia. Robert is serving a 14-year prison term and Christopher a 17-year term. Both are in the federal prison in Danbury, Conn.
Christopher Reckmeyer was brought into the area by the government for Harvey's trial, but was not put on the stand. His lawyer said he would have refused to testify if called.