News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2010
Contact: Robert J. Hanson
Number: (314) 538-4670

Arizona Couple Sentenced for Roles in Marijuana Conspiracy

OCT 12 - (EAST ST. LOUIS, IL) - Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that on October 8, 2010, a couple from Tucson, Arizona, were sentenced in U. S. District Court in East St. Louis, for their roles in a marijuana distribution conspiracy. JIM STEENKEN, age 51, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment, 4 years supervised release, ordered to pay a fine of $60, and a $100 special assessment. SHARON STEENKEN, age 50, was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment, 4 years of supervised release, ordered to pay a fine of $60, and a $100 special assessment.

Both defendants had previously pled guilty on April 10, 2009, to conspiracy to distribute
marijuana. According to information contained in the stipulation of facts filed at the time of the pleas, the STEENKENs met with a conspirator on December 12, 2007, to obtain $395,940 in drug proceeds at the direction of an Arizona-based marijuana supplier as payment for 600 pounds of marijuana that had been sold in early December 2007. The Defendants were to transport these proceeds back to the supplier in Arizona. On December 13, 2007, a vehicle occupied by the Defendants was stopped by St. Charles County, Missouri, police officers. Thereafter, $395,940 in drug proceeds was recovered from a hidden compartment in the vehicle.

The investigation was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement
Task Force (OCDETF), with the Drug Enforcement Administration as the lead agency. The OCDETF initiative is designed to bring federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and resources together to identify, target and dismantle large national and international drug trafficking organizations.