Chicago man gets life sentence for deadly Sioux Falls drug ring

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — One of the Chicago men at the center of a deadly Sioux Falls drug ring is headed back to prison.

Maurice Cathey and Corrod Phillips are linked to a dozen drug overdoses and several deaths. They were running a heroin and crack cocaine operation out of a home on North Sherman Avenue. Inside the house, authorities found drugs and kitchen drawers stuffed with cash.

In November a jury convicted Cathey of five crimes, including selling Layne Diaz the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed him. It’s the same drug ring linked to the death of Angela Kennecke’s daughter Emily. Angela was one of two mothers who spoke in the moments before Cathey’s sentencing about losing a child to the heroin crisis.

Cathey said he felt sorry for the families, but continued to deny his guilt. He told the judge, “I’m not guilty for killing these people’s kids.” He went on to say he’s only guilty of selling crack cocaine.

When it was time for sentencing, Judge Karen Schrier said Cathey was involved in bringing heroin and fentanyl into the community. She says she can no longer go to the grocery store or drive down Minnesota Avenue without thinking of someone who overdosed. Schrier gave Cathey three life sentences, along with two 30 year sentences. They’ll be served at the same time.

Cathey had 8 prior felony drug convictions and has been in and out of jail and prison since the 1990s. During Monday’s hearing, Schrier told Cathey he’s basically been on an installment plan and has been building up to a life sentence for years.

Corrod Phillips is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2.

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