SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A convicted cocaine dealer has been sentenced to 11 years in prison despite letters from 10 children who said he used to take them on church outings.

Charles Newsome, described by prosecutors as the No. 2 man in a $2.4- million-a-year cocaine operation that catered almost exclusively to welfare recipients, wept Monday as the sentence was handed down.

U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson said Newsome, 23, the son of a minister, would not be eligible for parole.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Swenson told the judge the children's letters showed how much damage had been done to the community.

''If Charles Newsome, a hard-core drug dealer, is a role model in Richmond, California, then God help Richmond,'' he said.

Swenson sought the maximum term of 18 years without parole ''so by the time he gets out, those little kids will have grown up and forgotten about him.''

Newsome pleaded guilty in May. Three accomplices were sentenced Monday to from six years in prison to four years probation.