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East St. Louis detective faces cocaine charges

CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities have accused a 41-year-old East St. Louis police detective of drug trafficking.

Court filings say Orlando "Monte" Ward entered a not guilty plea in a federal court in East St. Louis on Friday.

The grand jury indictment charges the Belleville man with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. It says at least five kilograms were involved but doesn't specify exactly how much.

A prosecutors' statement says a conviction on one count of conspiracy to distribute carries a sentence of up to life in prison and a maximum $10 million fine.

Six others are also charged in the case.

Reached by phone in Belleville, Ward's defense attorney, James Gomric, declined comment.

The Friday court filing says a trial date has been set for July 8.

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