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Gang member gets 10 years in statewide crack cocaine conspiracy

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A Twin Cities gang member known on the streets as "Boo Man" will spend the next 10 years in prison for a drug trafficking operation that stretched from the Twin Cities all the way to Fargo.

That's according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis, which said in a news release that 27-year-old Carnel Harrison was affiliated with the "Taliban" and "Young N Thuggin" gangs and would often travel to St. Cloud, Duluth and North Dakota to sell crack.

The release indicates that Harrison's product would sell for much more outstate than it would in Minneapolis.

For instance, crack that would go for $20 in the metro would be sold for $50 in Greater Minnesota, and $150 worth of the drug in the Twin Cities would sell for as much as $250 in places like St. Cloud and Fargo, the U.S. Attorney's Office says.

He had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and was sentenced on Thursday to 10 years in prison, a punishment that prosecutors hope is a "deterrence to others who may try to profit from the misery that drug addiction brings."

The release also indicated that Harrison has a "history of violent crime."

What is crack cocaine?

According to addiction support website Cocaine.Org, there is a big difference between "cocaine" and "crack cocaine," though both forms are "sometimes referred to in research and other outlets simply as cocaine."

The website says cocaine typically refers to the powder form of the drug, which is synthesized from the chemical properties in the South American erythroxylon coca plant. It is usually snorted or injected and cannot be smoked.

Crack cocaine, on the other hand, describes a form of the drug that has been dried (with the help of water and baking soda, for instance) into solid chunks that can be "cracked" and smoked.

Cocaine.Org says crack cocaine is believed to be more addictive due to its quicker-acting effects, and is more commonly associated with violence than powder cocaine, which also tends to be more expensive.

The website also points out that the two substances are so different that abuse and possession of the two drugs carries different criminal penalties.

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