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Three Men Charged with Cocaine Distribution Conspiracy

July 15, 2008

Rock Island, Ill - A federal grand jury today charged three men with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine in the Quad Cities area over a three-year period, as announced by U.S. Attorney Rodger A. Heaton of the Central District of Illinois.

The indictment charges Michael John Wilson, 42, of the 11000 block of 47th Street, Milan, Illinois; Benedict Thomas Terronez, 42, of the 100 block of Railroad Avenue, Moline; and Marcos Jesus Soto, 24, of the 200 block of 5th Avenue, Moline, Illinois with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine from about April 2005 to April 21, 2008. The indictment also charges the three men with one count of distribution of cocaine on April 21, 2008.

If convicted, the conspiracy charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison; with a prior felony drug conviction, the penalty is enhanced to a mandatory minimum 20 years in prison. For the distribution offense, the penalty is up to 20 years in prison.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group in cooperation with the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney John K. Mehochko is prosecuting the case.

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

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