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Lead defendants in Minnesota heroin conspiracy sentenced

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Federal prosecutors say the leader of a group distributing heroin in southern Minnesota that resulted in two fatal overdoses has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 36-year-old Antonio Snell, one of five defendants, was sentenced Wednesday. His half-brother, 23-year-old Melvin Hunter, was sentenced to 14 years the following day.

Officials say Snell pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Paulsen says the group brought "large amounts" of heroin from Chicago to southern Minnesota, selling it for $200 a gram.

Officials say the defendants ran the distribution conspiracy in the Rochester area. Authorities say Hunter supplied heroin that killed 23-year-old Tyler Burkey in 2015 and 20-year-old Jordan Jensen last year.

The other defendants have been sentenced to between 77 months and 92 months in prison.

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