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Man gets 17 years in federal prison on drug charge

Undercover U.S. Postal Inspector’s delivery nets convicted felon

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Broward County man whose wife signed for two packages containing about 1,000 ecstasy pills was sentenced Monday to 17 years in federal prison.

Eric Roper, 32, was convicted in October on one count of possession with intent to distribute. The South Florida SunSentinel reports his federal public defenders plan to appeal.

Federal agents intercepted two packages addressed to Roper’s home, according to a criminal compliant.

Court documents show federal agents planned a controlled delivery of fake pills. A task force assembled around Roper’s home for the April 30 bust. But Roper’s wife answered the door when an undercover U.S. Postal Inspector made the delivery. She called Roper on the phone, who told her to sign for packages.

When Roper returned home that night and left a few minutes later with the packages, agents arrested him.

Federal officials said Roper admitted to the crime, and made further self-incriminating statements on the following day.

His attorneys argued the confessions were obtained in a violation of Roper’s Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

A district court judge kept some of Roper’s confessions out of evidence.

Jurors took three days to find Roper guilty. He was sentenced under federal guidelines as a career criminal due to two prior drug convictions.

Roper’s wife wasn’t charged.