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Violent Pot Ring Leader Nicknamed 'Hitler,' 2nd Defendant Sentenced For Racketeering Conspiracy

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Two men who entered guilty pleas for their roles in various crimes including a racketeering conspiracy, drug dealing and murder for hire were sentenced to more than three decades in prison, according to the FBI.

Marcus Etienne, aka "Hitler," and Mario Robinson were sentenced to 34 and 32 years in prison respectively, the San Francisco office of the FBI announced Wednesday. The two men pleaded guilty in December of last year to multiple conspiracy charges for hiring another man to murder a man in East Oakland in 2016, federal prosecutors said.

Etienne, a resident of St. Martin Parish in Louisiana, had admitted that he was the leader of a criminal enterprise dating back to 2009 that trafficked drugs between California and Louisiana. Robinson -- who has known residences in Opelousas, La., and Oakland -- pleaded guilty to similar charges.

The plea agreements for Etienne and Robinson said the enterprise bought marijuana in California and used the U.S. Postal Service to ship the drugs to Louisiana and Texas.

In addition to distributing narcotics, the criminal enterprise engaged in assault, robbery, extortion, extortionate collection of loans, murder for hire, murder, money laundering, possessing illegal firearms, gambling on dogfighting and obstruction of justice.

Etienne and Robinson admitted their respective roles in the 2016 murder of another enterprise member, Trince Thibodeaux, in Oakland. Etienne had offered Robinson $5,000 to murder Thibodeaux and Robinson accepted. Robinson then contracted with a third party, identified as Burte Gucci Rhodes, and paid him $1,250 to execute the murder in Oakland.

Rhodes is being prosecuted separately for the murder.

Etienne and other members of the enterprise hosted dog-fighting events in Louisiana at which attendees would pay a cover fee and bet money on the dogfights. Dogs were seriously injured and killed at the events, according to authorities.

Etienne and Robinson have been in U.S. custody and will begin serving their sentences immediately. The FBI prosecuted the case with assistance from the Oakland Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California.

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