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Project Safe Neighborhoods: Springfield Man Charged with Drug and Firearms Offenses

January 9, 2008

Springfield, Ill. - Rodger A. Heaton, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, announced that a federal grand jury today returned a three-count indictment charging Michael J. Gary, 30, of the 2600 block of South Fifth Street, Springfield, Illinois, with drug and firearms offenses. The indictment alleges that on December 16, 2007, Gary possessed cocaine and marijuana with the intent to distribute. At the same time, the indictment alleges Gary possessed three loaded guns - a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol; .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Lorcin semi-automatic pistol - in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and despite having been previously convicted of a felony offense.

Gary was arrested on December 16, 2007, and was charged in a federal criminal complaint. U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron Cudmore ordered Gary remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Gary has a 1996 felony conviction in Sangamon county for the offense of armed robbery.

If convicted of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, Gary faces a statutory maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison; the penalty for possession of a firearm by a felon is up to 10 years in prison. For possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, the penalty is a mandatory minimum five years to life in prison served consecutive to any prison term ordered for the underlying drug trafficking offense.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Springfield Police Department and the Sangamon County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patricia A. McInerney under the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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