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Man acquitted of drug-trafficking charge

A man accused of trafficking in more than 2 pounds of cocaine was acquitted Wednesday, when a jury rejected the idea that he was the ringleader in a cocaine conspiracy who threatened others to join him. Ira Allen Thacker, 27, of Spring Hill, walked into the courtroom Wednesday facing charges of cocaine trafficking and conspiracy and walked out a free man.

Two co-defendants, who pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this year, testified against Thacker, one of whom said Thacker threatened to kill him if he didn't help him with the deal.

Thacker was arrested in May 1988, along with Diana Clark and Mark Allen Green, both of New Port Richey, after Clark set up a deal with undercover detectives to sell them about 1,000 grams of cocaine for $23,000.

Clark referred to Thacker and Green as her suppliers.

When Clark was arrested, she told vice detectives that she picked up the cocaine from Green. Then she called both men and discussed the deal on the phone, while detectives listened.

All three faced 15 years in prison for the charges, but Clark and Green reduced their sentences by cooperating with the state.

While Thacker, part owner of Thacker Electric Co., was in jail, many businessmen wrote requesting that he be released. They called him a family man with integrity who was worried about tarnishing the family name.

The jury cleared his name on the drug charges, but he still faces a charge of resisting arrest.