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Stark County Man Charged with Meth Manufacturing Conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2008

Rock Island, Ill. - A federal grand jury today returned a two-count indictment charging a Stark county Illinois man with participating in a four-year methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy, as announced by Rodger A. Heaton, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. Patrick Bryan Kelley, 41, of LaFayette, Illinois, is charged with one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and a single count of manufacture of methamphetamine. The indictment alleges Kelley conspired with others from at least January 2004, through at least January 24, 2008, to manufacture methamphetamine.

According to the affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Rock Island on January 23, 2008, the charges result from evidence gathered through a historical investigation that included the execution of search warrants and the interviews of already-convicted methamphetamine manufacturers who are cooperating in the investigation. According to the complaint, witnesses allege that Kelley participated in the manufacture of methamphetamine at his home in LaFayette, in Kewanee, Illinois, and elsewhere, as well as acquiring pseudoephedrine pills, anhydrous ammonia, and other precursor materials for the meth-making process.

Kelley made his initial appearance in federal court on January 25, 2008. During a detention hearing today in Peoria before U.S. Magistrate Judge John A. Gorman, Kelley was ordered detained pending trial in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Illinois State Police Zone 2 Methamphetamine Response Team, the Illinois State Police Blackhawk Area Task Force, the Kewanee Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Darrow.

If convicted, conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and manufacture of methamphetamine each carry a statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison. However, if the defendant has a prior felony drug conviction, the penalty increases to 20 years to life imprisonment; if a defendant has two or more prior felony drug convictions, the penalty is mandatory life imprisonment.

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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