News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 18, 2010
Contact: Robert J. Hanson
Number: (314)538-4670

Guilty Plea in Effingham County Methamphetamine Case

MAY 18 - (BENTON, IL) - A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that on May 17, 2010, JOSEPH D. DOWNS, age 26 of Decatur, Illinois, pleaded guilty to three counts of an Indictment charging him with Conspiracy to Manufacture and Distribute 50 grams or more of Methamphetamine (Count 1); Possession of Pseudoephedrine with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine (Count 4); and Possession of Equipment, Chemicals, Products and Materials with Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine (Count 5). The penalties that can be imposed on Count 1 are a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years’, up to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $4 million, and a term of supervised release of at least 8 years. The penalties that can be imposed on Count 4 are up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years’ supervised release. The penalties that can be imposed on Count 5 are up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years’ supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for August 16, 2010, at 2:00 p.m., in the United States District Court in Benton.

This investigation into this methamphetamine manufacturing activity was conducted by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the Effingham County State’s Attorney Edward Deters, the Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The investigation was conducted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, a cooperative effort of local, state and federal law enforcement, and state and federal prosecuting authorities, aimed at ridding communities of illegal drugs and guns.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kit Morrissey.