The leader of a criminal street gang that used threats, intimidation, and violence to maintain control of illegal drug trade in Atlantic City was sentenced Thursday to life in prison.

35-year-old Mykal Derry (“Koose”) of Atlantic City was previously convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin, distributing heroin, possessing, brandishing and discharging firearms in furtherance of the drug conspiracy, and other charges. Derry was convicted following a six-week trial before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman, who imposed a life sentence Thursday in Camden federal court.

According to the State, Derry was the leader of the "Dirty Block" gang, which operated in Atlantic City and controlled the drug trafficking area of the Stanley Holmes housing complex and the surrounding area. Evidence showed Derry and other members of the gang engaged in at least eight drug related shootings from 2010 to 2013. During one of those shootings, a rival drug dealer in Atlantic City was killed in February, 2013.