NORFOLK (AP) -- The government says a Newport News man has been sentenced to 235 months in prison for his role as the chief money launderer in a drug trafficking operation that stretched from California to New York.

Alano Christobo Blanco was found guilty by a federal jury last November of charges that included drug conspiracy and interstate travel in aid of racketeering. Prosecutors say the 46-year-old defendant and others were part of a network that supplied illegal drugs in several states and distributed cocaine and marijuana on the Virginia peninsula.

Among their customers was a street gang called 'Thug Relations,' which was primarily located at apartment complexes in Newport News.

Blanco was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. His prison term will be followed by five years of supervised release.

AP-WF-03-27-13 0705GMT

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