Namond Williams, 23, told a federal judge yesterday that he never wanted to make a career of drug dealing. He wanted a legitimate life and a future with his family.
But he couldn't shake the drug dealing habit and yesterday it cost him, dearly.
Sentenced to spend the next 50 years in federal prison, Williams' future will now consist of prison walls and cell bars. Allowing for good time, he may get out in 40 years.
"It's no pleasure to put any human being in prison for this period of time," said Judge Frank A. Kaufman. "It's exceedingly difficult to impose this sentence on a man of this age."
Williams, who has no previous criminal record, is the father of a 14-month-old girl. On the other hand, he also was a key player in the drug-dealing organization headed by his uncle, Linwood "Rudy" Williams, who was sentenced last week to life without parole plus 130 years.
Namond Williams dealt heroin in the Lexington Terrace housing projects. He ran his own organization and, according to trial testimony, used violence as a disciplinary tool.
"I've been in the drug business for years, I admit this," he said yesterday, adding that he was not as big a dealer as federal prosecutors alleged. He also said he didn't think he was fairly tried and that he didn't understand why the government made deals with international drug dealers whose crimes far exceeded his.
"I've never killed anyone," said Williams, who rejected a government offer to plead guilty in exchange for a 21-year prison sentence. "I think I deserve a chance. I want to be with my family. . . . I didn't want to make a life of crime as a career. I just got caught up in that. I don't know why. But you just can't take my life away."
Put simply, that's just what Judge Kaufman did.
"There are countless persons whose lives were wrecked," he said. "He seems to want to forget that, or have the court forget that. . . . This is a bitter man who, if he were out today, would return to the same type of crime."