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Judge says ‘manipulative’ defendant deserves 12-year sentence for dealing cocaine

A former Hammond man was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison for dealing in cocaine.

Muhammad Ibn Shariff, 33, of Calumet City, Ill., admitted he delivered cocaine on July 16, 2012, to a confidential informant on 173rd Street in Hammond.

Shariff, who has five prior felony convictions, was on parole in Illinois for four months when he sold the cocaine. His wife, Adrienne Slater, told Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez that Shariff is a good father who is working at an auto auction business and has changed since his most recent arrest.

Defense attorney Jamise Perkins said Shariff knows he’s going to prison and regrets putting not only himself but his family at risk. Slater was with Shariff when the drug deal occurred, and Shariff confessed his involvement to police immediately after his arrest.

Deputy prosecutor Michael Woods argued for the maximum 12-year prison sentence outlined in the plea agreement. He cited Shariff’s extensive criminal history and his habitual offender-eligible status.

Shariff said he made bad choices “due to a lot of illusions that I was chasing because I felt I would be successful.” He asked for leniency and noted his mother, who also testified on his behalf, is ill.

Vasquez said Shariff’s charming nature points to a manipulative, dishonest and selfish personality and his criminal record warranted the maximum sentence. Vasquez said the “break” Shariff requested was the 12-year penalty spelled out in the plea agreement and accepted by the judge; a Class B felony can carry a penalty of up to 20 years.



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