News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2008
Contact: Thomas E. Murphy
(314) 538-4660

Five Charged in Heroin Distribution Ring in Centralia, Illinois

DEC 30 -- (BENTON, IL) - A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that on December 2, 2008, Brady McGRUDER, a/k/a “June,” a/k/a “James G. Martin,” a/k/a “Brady Martin,” age 42, of Chicago, Illinois; Arthur DARNELL, a/k/a “Pip,” age 27, of Centralia, Illinois; Brandon K. PURNELL, a/k/a “B,” age 24, of Centralia, Illinois; April D. SULLENS , age 22, of Centralia, Illinois; and Genesis M. EFFINGER , age 19, of Chicago, Illinois, were named in an eleven-count Indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Benton, Illinois.

Count 1 charges that from in or about March 2008 to November 6, 2008, in Marion County, Illinois, and elsewhere, McGRUDER, DARNELL, PURNELL, SULLENS , and EFFINGER , conspired and agreed with other persons to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, heroin. The amount of heroin involved in the conspiracy is one hundred (100) grams or more.

Counts 2, 3, and 4 charge McGRUDER with knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin. The distributions occurred in Marion County, Illinois, on August 29, 2008, September 2, 2008, and September 11, 2008.

Counts 5, 6, 7, and 8 charge DARNELL with knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin. The distributions occurred in Marion County, Illinois, on September 4, 2008 (twice), September 9, 2008, and September 30, 2008.

Count 9 charges PURNELL with knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin. The distribution occurred in Marion County, Illinois, on August 1, 2008.

Count 10 charges SULLENS with knowingly and intentionally distributing heroin. The distribution occurred in Marion County, Illinois, on October 2, 2008.

Count 11 charges that on November 6, 2008, in Marion County, SULLENS possessed with the intent to distribute heroin.

With respect to Count 1, the defendants face a penalty of from 5-40 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 4 years. With respect to Counts 2-11, each count carries a possible penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release of at least 3 years.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

The investigation was conducted by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, the Illinois State Police, the Centralia Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration pursuant to their participation in the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a joint and cooperative effort of the United States Attorney’s Office, and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies directed at removing guns and drugs from our communities. The Marion County State’s Attorney’s Office also assisted during the investigation.

The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney George Norwood.