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Grand Jury Charges Two Men With Conspiracy To Distribute 100 Kilos Of Marijuana To Central Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2009

Springfield, Ill. – A federal grand jury today returned an indictment charging two men, a resident of Jacksonville, Illinois, and another man from Houston, Texas, with conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms of marijuana. The indictment charges Shaun Stephan, 30, of the 800 block of North Prairie Street, Jacksonville, Illinois, and Domingo Avalos-Palacios, 48, of Houston, Texas. Both men were previously arrested and charged by criminal complaint in the Central District of Illinois.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Missouri Highway Patrol stopped a truck driven by Avalos-Palacios for a traffic violation on the morning of July 10, 2009, on Interstate 44 East in Missouri. Upon questioning, the driver consented to a search of the vehicle, and officers allegedly found marijuana hidden in spools of coaxial cable loaded on the truck. According to the affidavit, the driver agreed to deliver the marijuana to a person in Springfield, Illinois. During the evening hours of July 10, 2009, law enforcement agents arrested Stephan after he allegedly arrived at the designated meeting place and loaded the spools of cable containing the marijuana from Avalos-Palacios’ truck to Stephan’s vehicle.

Both men appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore. Stephan was released on bond with conditions; Avalos-Palacios was detained under an administrative order by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If convicted of the offense, each man faces statutory penalties of a minimum 10 years to life in prison.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Missouri State Highway Patrol; the Central Illinois Enforcement Group; Illinois State Police; and the Springfield Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Bohm is prosecuting the case.

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

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