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Cocaine dealer, 69, ordered to spend decade in prison

Wife acquitted of drug charge

An elderly drug dealer nicknamed The Cheese was sentenced yesterday to a decade behind bars for trafficking large amounts of cocaine from his West Roxbury home throughout the 1990s.

Andrew F. Schlehuber, 69, was ordered by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Raymond Brassard to serve 10 years in state prison, the state's minimum mandatory sentence for trafficking cocaine in excess of 100 grams.

``We feel this is a just and fair sentence," said Jake Wark, spokesman for District Attorney Daniel F. Conley. Schlehuber's defense lawyer, Steve Brooks, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Schlehuber, a father of seven, and his wife, Winifred Schlehuber, came to the attention of authorities in 2000, when police observed significant foot traffic at their LaGrange Street home, prosecutors said.

Police later raided the home and found more than 100 grams of cocaine, a cereal box full of marijuana, and records with the names and preferences of numerous drug buyers, prosecutors said.

The pair was indicted as drug dealers in June 2002 and had been free on their own recognizance since.

At trial, one of the Schlehubers' clients, Mark Smith, told the jury he bought seven grams of cocaine from the Schlehubers every day for more than five years.

On two dates, he testified, he purchased more than his daily allotment, buying 49 grams on one occasion and 98 grams on another, in order to carry him through trips out of town. Smith testified that he bought cocaine almost exclusively from Andrew Schlehuber.

Winifred Schlehuber, also 69, was acquitted of a single count of conspiracy to traffic in cocaine, prosecutors said.

In addition to finding him guilty of the lead trafficking charge, a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted Schlehuber on July 31 of three counts of trafficking in 28 grams or more of cocaine and four counts of cocaine distribution.

He was also convicted of single counts of conspiracy to traffic in 200 grams or more of cocaine and possession of a class D substance with intent to distribute.

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