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Afrika Owes, Teen In Harlem Gang Case, Out Of Jail Before School

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Afrika Owes (center) is released on bail back in April. (credit: Juliet Papa, 1010 WINS)

Afrika Owes (center) is released on bail back in April. (credit: Juliet Papa, 1010 WINS)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A former prep school student who admitted carrying guns for her boyfriend’s Harlem drug gang has gotten out of jail as she prepares to start her senior year in high school.

City Department of Correction records show Afrika Owes was released Thursday. Her lawyer didn’t immediately return a call Friday.

The 17-year-old Owes had been jailed since June 28.

Owes was arrested in February in a sweep of what Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. called a violent crack cocaine ring that controlled and terrified a Harlem block.

She also was held for about two months after her February arrest until a prominent Harlem church put up bail for her.

The onetime scholarship student at the elite Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, carried boyfriend Jaquan “Jay Cash” Layne’s gun and transmitted his instructions to gang members of “137th Street Crew” while he was jailed on other charges in 2009 and 2010, prosecutors said.

In conversations on a recorded jail phone, Layne told her to distribute guns to another associate and advised her that if things got “crazy, let it go … make sure, head shots only,” while Owes said she’d routinely carried his 9 mm semiautomatic pistol before he was locked up, according to an indictment.

She pleaded guilty to conspiracy and weapons charges.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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