The owner of a Binghamton bar at the hub of a big drug trafficking operation is headed to prison for 35 years instead of life after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess and intent to distribute controlled substances and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Federal prosecutors say 42 year old Calvin Johnson of Binghamton has pleaded guilty in connection with the operation out of his, now shuttered bar, 17 East on Clinton Street. The bar was the headquarters for the MacBallers gang, dealing in crack cocaine and heroin.

Johnson had previously turned down plea offers by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and was on the brink of beginning a jury trial when he opted this week to take the deal, avoiding a life sentence.

The MacBallers ring operated from September of 2009 to March of 2014, dealing large amounts of drugs in the region, including from out of the gang’s clubhouse at the Clinton Street bar.

Five others have been named co-conspirators with Johnson.

Johnson is to be sentenced in August to 420 months in federal prison and 10 years on probation.

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