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Convicted gang member given suspended sentence on parole violations

A convicted member of a violent Atlantic City drug gang was sentenced to a suspended term Friday, after violating probation on drug charges three times.
Laquay Spence, 27, was given a two-year suspended sentence for three violations on a drug sentence.
Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Rodney Cunningham noted that there were no mitigating factors that would benefit Spence but that the aggravating factors “are preponderant.” However, he noted that the plea was made in agreement with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.
Spence’s alleged gang ties were not mentioned in court.
But he was one of 34 defendants charged in 2013 in a federal case against Atlantic City’s Dirty Blok gang. He was originally charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, and in 2014, was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison.
After his release, he violated last year, and was given six months in federal prison, according to the state U.S. Attorney’s Office.
He is currently in the federal prisoner re-entry program.
Spence was in Atlantic County Superior Court on Friday for three violations from last year, while he was serving a three-year suspended sentence.
The plea deal revokes that sentence and imposes a new two-year suspended sentence.
Outside the courtroom, defense attorney Omar Aguilar explained that, even if Spence had been given a jail term, he had so much credit for time served, he would have immediately been eligible for parole.
Spence served 385 days in the Atlantic County Justice Facility, according to courthouse records.

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