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Rantz: Crack dealer's photos with Seattle officials shouldn't get him less time

Ali Abukar Mohamed
Here defendant Ali Abukar Mohamed is pictured with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. The photo was submitted to court prior to Mohamed's sentencing. (King County Superior Court) | Zoom
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UPDATE: Convicted crack dealer Ali Abukar Mohamed was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison, according to The Seattle Times.

Original story:

A man convicted of selling crack is apparently trying to get shorter time by showing he has friends in high places.

Ali Abukar Mohamed's attorney submitted several photos of Mohamed posing with city officials including Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole, and Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.

The Seattle Times reports Mohamed is facing 8 ½ years in prison after being convicted on five counts of violating the Uniform Controlled Substances Act for allegedly selling crack to an informant five times.

This would be a first offense for Mohamed, and he reportedly asked his attorney to submit the photos along with reference letters outlining his charity and work efforts in the community and a petition signed by 200 people who support him.

KIRO Radio's Jason Rantz doesn't think these photos should make any difference in Mohamed's sentence. "This guy should 100 percent be in jail."

"I have zero sympathy for a crack dealer. I'm sorry," Rantz says. "When you start selling crack cocaine, you are no longer a pillar [in the community]."

Rantz says the whole plan could backfire, too, depending on how the judge takes the inclusion of the photographs.

"I would say you run the risk of getting an even harsher punishment because I'm not going to, if I'm a judge, give special preferential treatment to a guy because he knows Ed Murray or because he knows Kathleen O'Toole," says Rantz. "You run that risk."

The Times tried to contact a number of the officials featured in the photographs. A spokesman for the city attorney said he didn't know Mohamed and a spokesman for SPD said it's not unusual for the chief to pose with citizens.

Mohamed is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday.

Jamie Skorheim, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Whether it's floating on Green Lake, eating shrimp tacos at Agua Verde, or taking weekend drives out to the Cascades, she loves to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as much as humanly possible.
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