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Drug dealer loses lottery winnings

A double defeat for a convicted drug dealer in Texas. An appeals court ruled he can't keep his lottery winnings because he bought the lucky ticket with drug proceeds.

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) -- A double defeat for a convicted drug dealer in Texas. An appeals court ruled he can't keep his lottery winnings because he bought the lucky ticket with drug proceeds. Jose Luis Betancourt was convicted in May 2003 of conspiracy and two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. A jury ruled that Betancourt should forfeit half his interest in the lottery jackpot – about $5.5 million -- because the ticket was purchased with his ill-gotten gains. A federal appeals court ruled that federal law allows the government to seize all property and proceeds obtained from drug trafficking. The appeals court also upheld Betancourt's drug trafficking conviction and his sentence of more than 24 years in prison.

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