'Hurricane' Carter's Co-Defendant Arrested In Cocaine StingAP , Associated Press
Apr. 20, 1986 9:52 PM ET
PATERSON, N.J. (AP) _ John Artis, whose conviction with boxer Rubin ''Hurricane'' Carter for a 1966 triple murder was overturned last year, has been charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine, officials said Sunday.
Artis, 40, was arrested Friday and charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine as part of a drug ring, said Passaic County Assistant Prosecutor Donald Campolo. Artis also was charged with receiving stolen property after police found a stolen, loaded .45-caliber gun at his Paterson home.
Eleven other suspects in the drug ring, as well as Artis' wife, were arrested in separate raids the same day, Campolo said.
Police found a trace amount of cocaine and drug paraphernalia in Artis' car when he was arrested, the prosecutor said.
Dorothy Artis was charged with possession of narcotics paraphernalia, possession of Valium and possession of a gun without a permit after police searched the couple's home. She was released on $5,000 bond, Campolo said.
Artis and the 11 other suspects were being held in the Passaic County Jail pending bail hearings set for Monday before Superior Court Judge Ralph Martin, Campolo said.
If convicted, Artis could be sentenced to 12 years on the drug charge and five years on the stolen property charge.
The suspects bought about two ounces of cocaine in New York City each week and sold it either directly to users or distributors, Campolo said.
Artis and Carter were convicted in 1976 of killing three whites in a Paterson bar. They were first convicted in 1967, but the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered a retrial.
U.S. District Judge H. Lee Sarokin ruled in November that prosecutors tainted their case with racial prejudice and misrepresented the results of a lie-detector test taken by a key government witness. Both Artis and Carter are black.
Sarokin overturned the convictions, freeing Carter from prison. Artis had been paroled in 1981.
The county prosecutor has appealed the ruling to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.