clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Drug dealer who flips in cop murder looks for same leniency that Flores twins got

Chicago Police Officer Robert Soto

The Flores twins faced life in prison, but the biggest drug dealers in Chicago history each wound up with 14-year sentences because of their extensive cooperation with the feds.

Now, another other Chicago drug dealer wants Flores-style leniency, too.

Jeffrey Scott, who helped the government put away an alleged cop killer earlier this year, faces a minimum of 10 years behind bars.

But when Scott is sentenced, he deserves a four-year term — a 60 percent reduction — for testifying against Jason Austin, according to Scott’s attorney.

On the witness stand, Scott said Austin admitted to killing a Chicago cop, Robert Soto, and his female companion, Kathryn Romberg, while they sat in Soto’s SUV on the West Side in August 2008.

“I effed up, I didn’t know it was a cop and a lady,” Scott said Austin told him after the murders.

In September, Austin was sentenced to 35 years in prison for a leading a drug conspiracy. The feds said he should receive a hefty sentence because he was suspected in the killings.

A previous murder case brought by the Cook County state’s attorney against Austin had collapsed after witnesses recanted.

Scott pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy in the same case that put Austin in prison. Scott’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 11.

His attorney, Michael Falconer, pointed to the case of Margarito and Pedro Flores in his request for a lenient sentence for Scott.

“After all, the government is seeking a 10-year sentence for the Flores brothers who imported 71 tons of cocaine, made $2 billion and even during their time of cooperation were giving family members new Bentley automobiles,” Falconer wrote in a court filing before the Flores twins were sentenced, adding, “Scott fades into relative insignificance.”

In a plea deal, the government had sought 10-year sentences for the Flores brothers, but the judge said their attempts to continue smuggling after they began cooperating with the feds merited a slightly stiffer sentence.

In a dramatic hearing Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo sentenced each of them to 14 years in prison.

If they hadn’t cut a deal with the government, the Flores twins could have been sentenced to life in prison for moving heroin and cocaine valued at $1.8 million through Chicago.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to give the 38-year-old twins a break because their “extraordinary,” death-defying cooperation led to the capture of the United States’ No. 1 most-wanted man, Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

Like the Flores brothers, Scott had faced death threats for his cooperation with the government, according to Falconer.

“He has provided ‘a measure of justice’ for the family of the slain officer. To that, one should add [he was] fearless not only in defying death threats, but also in telling the truth without flinching, even though his truth was powerfully self-incriminating,” Falconer wrote.