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Alton Man Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison For Meth Conspiracy, Brandishing Machine Gun

December 8, 2008

Springfield, Ill. - An Alton, Illinois man, Bradley Scott Clark, 40, was sentenced today to serve 35 years in federal prison for conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and brandishing a machine gun during a drug trafficking crime, as announced by Rodger A. Heaton, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. Clark’s co-defendant, Richard Lee Eldridge, 36, of Shipman, Illinois, was sentenced on November 24, 2008, to a prison term of 22 years and eight months.

The charges were the result of an investigation by the Illinois State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory M. Gilmore and Timothy A. Bass in cooperation with Macoupin County State’s Attorney Vince Moreth.

U.S. District Judge Jeanne E. Scott sentenced Clark to serve five years (60 months) for the drug conspiracy, followed by a consecutive term of 30 years (360 months) in prison for brandishing a machine gun during a drug trafficking crime. Clark was also ordered to serve four years on supervised release upon completion of his prison term, and to pay restitution in the amount of $2,958 to reimburse the cost incurred by the Drug Enforcement Administration for cleanup associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Clark pled guilty to the offenses on July 28, 2008; Eldridge pled guilty on August 5, 2008. Both men were charged in a federal criminal complaint in October 2007 and have been detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since their arrests. According to court documents and facts presented in open court, on June 14, 2007, Illinois State Police officers were conducting surveillance on anhydrous ammonia tanks at the Medora, Illinois FS plant. At approximately 1:25 a.m., officers observed a suspicious vehicle drive to the tanks. As Eldridge, the driver, started to exit the vehicle, officers approached and identified themselves. The passenger, Clark, reached behind the seat for a machine gun, pointed it across the front seat and directed it at the officers. Clark, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot three times, in the right forearm, left hand, and in the chest, by one of the officers.

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