Illinois Man Sentenced on Crack Cocaine Charges
JUL 28 -- E. St. Louis, IL - A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that on July 25, 2008, a federal judge sitting in East St. Louis, Illinois, sentenced Courtney D. HURT, age 52, of Tamms, Illinois, to 360 months imprisonment. HURT was previously indicted by a federal grand jury on June 6, 2007, in a one count indictment, for possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of a mixture and substance containing cocaine base, also known as “crack cocaine,” in Alexander County, Illinois. He was convicted by a jury in July 2007, and has been incarcerated, awaiting sentencing since then.
According to evidence presented to the Court and jury, the investigation of this case was conducted by the Illinois State Police, the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration. HURT was arrested on April 27, 2007, after officers received a tip that open drug dealing was occurring at the intersection of Trinity Road and Little Bend Road in Sandusky, Illinois, a small village approximately 35 miles south of Carbondale, IL. Upon further investigation, law enforcement officers observed numerous cars drive through the intersection in Sandusky and observed exchanges of what was later determined to be crack cocaine and cash between the occupants of the cars and a person who was running back and forth from a vehicle occupied by HURT. The occupants of those cars were stopped by police and searched as they left Sandusky. After finding crack cocaine and obtaining statements verifying that it was purchased from the person observed by police officers, HURT and that individual were arrested. HURT was found by Illinois State Troopers to be in possession of 11.3 grams of crack cocaine and 1.3 grams of heroin, which was packaged in ten, 1 gm. packages and $265 in cash. Following his arrest, HURT admitted to investigators that he was providing crack cocaine to the individual with him who was selling it to people in cars as they drove through Sandusky. He also identified where he had obtained the crack cocaine and heroin and indicated that he still owed money for a portion of the crack cocaine. However, at his sentencing hearing, HURT denied having made any statement to law enforcement and denied that he possessed or distributed any drugs to anyone, despite the jury’s verdict in the case.
In imposing the 30 year sentence, the court told HURT that “you have proven that you cannot share this planet with the rest of the people who want to be law abiding.” In addition to his sentence of 360 months imprisonment, HURT will be required to serve a period of supervised release for eight years following his release from prison. Under federal sentencing laws, a defendant must serve at least 85 % of his prison sentence before beginning the supervised release program. HURT could have been sentenced up to and including life imprisonment, the maximum penalty under the federal law.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael C. Carr.