Cedric Cotton was 14 when he fell in with the wrong crowd. He left his mother’s house, dropped out of school, and started slinging bags of weed on the streets of Rochester.
Like many dealers, he built a criminal record and served stints in jail on a variety of charges. Every time he was released and contemplated going straight, he found himself trapped in the same cycle: further from finishing school, finding a job, and ditching dealing. With each new charge was a new obstacle to building a better life for himself.
So he stuck with it. He felt he had no choice.