An East Side gang leader who planted a community garden to cover up his drug dealing and threatened a witness in court was sentenced to 27 years in prison today.

Michael Angelo Hayes, known as Little Mike or Mikey, was one of the leaders of the East Side Posse, a major source of heroin and crack in Charleston until it was busted.

Hayes and more than a dozen other gang members were arrested in a drug sweep in April 2010. Several other gang members have already been sent to prison.

Appearing in federal court in Charleston today before Judge P. Michael Duffy, Hayes was sentenced to 327 months or 27 years and three months in a federal penitentiary.

Read more here later.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553 or