TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A Tyler man and gang member has been sentenced to 45 years in prison on Wednesday after being convicted by a jury of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

Evidence presented to the jury said Damonte Shears, 33, ran from a DPS trooper on foot in March 2021 and “discarded a large amount of crack cocaine and ecstasy while running.”

According to the DA’s office, detectives from the East Texas Anti-Gang unit testified the amount of cocaine was consistent with drug dealer amounts and had a street value of $10,000.

A gang expert with Smith County identified Shears to the jury as a ranking member of the Rolling 60s Neighborhood Crips through his tattoos, social media posts and their previous knowledge of him.

“Shears made his living selling poison and profited from the addiction of others,” Assistant District Attorney Emil Mikkelsen said.

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