Drug trafficker gets 5 life prison terms in Ariz.

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2009 6:21 PM

Authorities say a drug trafficker who had his fingerprints altered to conceal his identity has been sentenced to five concurrent life prison sentences in Arizona.

Federal authorities say 62-year-old William Wallace Keegan, of Palm Harbor, Fla., also received a 20-year prison sentence Thursday for money laundering. Keegan was convicted in June after a 10-day trial in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.

Prosecutors say he and co-conspirators acquired cocaine in Arizona and transported it to New York, primarily by mail, between November 2005 and January 2008. He was caught by undercover federal drug agents in New York.

Authorities say Keegan, who also used the alias Richard Alan King, engaged in drug trafficking for more than 30 years and had all of his fingers surgically altered in the 1990s to obliterate his fingerprints above the first joint.

A federal forensic fingerprint analyst was able to confirm Keegan's identity by matching the lower joint fingerprints from an arrest of King in January 2008 with a 1977 arrest of Keegan.