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Ten Charged With Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy In Peoria

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 27, 2008

Peoria, Ill. - Ten defendants have been charged with participating in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy that allegedly involved multiple kilograms of powder and crack cocaine in Peoria, Illinois since 1999. The defendants, all Peoria residents, were charged in three separate indictments returned by a federal grand jury on May 22, 2008, and announced today by Rodger A. Heaton, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. The indictments were unsealed today as the defendants, arrested over the weekend, appeared in federal court in Peoria.

The charges are the result of a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency task force investigation funded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program. Participating investigative agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force; the Peoria Area Metropolitan Enforcement Group, and the Peoria Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greggory R. Walters is prosecuting the cases.

Three men and a woman are charged in one indictment with conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine since 1999. They are: Carlos D. Williams, 34, 7400 block N. Patton Lane; Tiffany L. Edwards, 21, 3100 block of W. Willow Knolls; Daryl Miller, 26, 2400 block Millman; and William E. Sproling, 46, of the 7400 block of N. Patton Lane. Each is also charged in multiple counts of the indictment with using a telephone in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Both Williams and Edwards are also charged with one count of possession of more than 50 grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute; one count of possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute; one count of possession of less than 500 grams of cocaine, and one count of criminal forfeiture. In addition, Edwards is charged with one count of money laundering.

The government seeks forfeiture of proceeds Williams allegedly obtained as a result of drug trafficking activity including: a 2000 Jaguar and two other vehicles; and items seized during execution of a search warrant on May 7, 2008 at Williams’ residence – $39,093 in cash; five televisions; a scanner; electronic scale and Wii gaming system. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of approximately $3,336 in cash seized from Edwards during a search at her apartment on April 12, 2008.

Williams and Edwards were previously arrested and charged in federal court and have been ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.

Four additional defendants named in a second indictment are charged with participating in a drug trafficking conspiracy involving more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine from 2007 to the present. They include: Aaron S. McCaa, 31, of the 2300 block of W. Garden; Darrell D. Booker, 33, of the 2900 block of Malone; Curtis B. Deweese, Jr., 33 , of the 1500 block of S. Western; and Umika Chapman, 32, of the 2000 block of N. Ellis. Each is charged with conspiring to distribute and possessing with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine. Each is also charged in multiple counts with using a telephone in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

McCaa, Booker, and Deweese are also charged with one count of possession of more than 50 grams of crack cocaine with intent to distribute; Chapman is charged with one count of possession of less than 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of alleged drug proceeds from Booker - $4,920 seeized during execution of a search warrant at his residence on May 7, 2008; forfeiture of $4,500 cash seized from DeWeese’s residence and $1,883 from his person on April 12, 2008 during execution of a search warrant; and $10,340 in cash seized from Chapman’s residence as a result of a search warrant on April 12, 2008.

The third indictment charges Ronald E. Lee, 29, of the 1000 block of McQueen and Taurus D. McKinney, 25, of the 1000 block of Groveland, with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine from 2002 to the present. Lee is also charged with two counts of distribution of more than five grams of crack cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine.

McKinney, arrested on April 30, 2008, and charged in federal court, is also charged with four counts of distribution of more than five grams of crack cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine, and one count of using a telephone in furtherance of a drug tracking crime. McKinney has been ordered detained in custody pending trial.

Members of the public are reminded that indictments are merely accusations; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

If convicted of the drug trafficking conspiracy charge, the statutory penalty is a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years to life. If a defendant has a prior felony drug conviction, the mandatory minimum penalty increases to 20 years imprisonment; with two or more prior felony drug convictions, the mandatory penalty is life imprisonment.

Statutory penalties for the various offenses of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine are: for more than 50 grams of crack cocaine - mandatory minimum 10 years to life imprisonment and fines of up to $4,000,000; more than 500 grams of cocaine - mandatory minimum five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000,000; less than 500 grams of cocaine - up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine up to $1,000,000. The statutory penalty for money laundering is up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine up to $500,000. For using a telephone in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, the penalty is up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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