Chicago drug dealer sentenced for Madison bust
A Chicago drug dealer learned his fate Thursday after law enforcement broke up his planned deal in Madison in May and officers were able to capture him during a dangerous, high-speed chase through city streets.
Thirty-seven year-old Martell Norris was sentenced to concurrent 15-year terms in federal prison for possession of crack cocaine and for being a felon in possession of a loaded firearm, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday. U.S. Attorney Scott Blader noted he had pleaded guilty to both charges in October.
Prosecutors said Norris, 37, was in Madison on May 16 and was on his way to E. Washington Street for an arranged sale to one of his customers. Officers learned of the deal and moved to cut him off. Seeing police, Norris sped away from the scene. During the high-speed chase, he nearly hit an officer and caused a bicyclist to crash, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Officers caught up to Norris at an apartment complex on South Blount Street and took him into custody.
Prior to his arrest, Norris had tried ditching a backpack down a trash chute, prosecutors said. When police found it in a dumpster, it reportedly contained 125 grams of powdered cocaine, 75 grams of crack cocaine, and a loaded, semi-automatic pistol.
According to Blader, the 15-year sentence on the firearms charge was in line with the mandatory minimums, while the judge explained the similar sentence on the drug count was necessary because Norris had used a weapon and because, be dealing large quantities of cocaine, he was driving addicts into poverty.