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Four Face Federal Charges of Methamphetamine Manufacturing and Distribution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2013

Lead Defendant Considered Knox County’s ‘Most Wanted’

Galesburg, Ill. – A grand jury has charged a Galesburg, Ill., man, Steven M. Cramer, 49, and three others, with a single count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine over the past four years. Cramer, of the 800 block of Abingdon Street, is charged, along with Amanda Jo Davis, 31, of the 100 block of Arthur Street; Lloyd L. Bell, 45, of the 1300 block of Rona Drive; and Jeremy N. Epperson, 38, of the 1000 block of Lyman Street, Galesburg, Ill.

The grand jury returned the indictment on Feb. 21; however, the indictment remained sealed pending the defendants’ arrests and initial appearances in federal court in Peoria. Cramer was previously arrested and charged in state court. Davis was taken into law enforcement custody on Mar. 3; Bell and Epperson were arrested on Mar. 1. The defendants appeared on Monday, before U.S. Magistrate Judge John A. Gorman. Cramer, Bell, and Epperson were ordered to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service; Davis was released on a recognizance bond. Trial is scheduled on Apr. 15, 2013, before Senior U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm.

Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois, today joined Knox County Sheriff David Clague; Knox County State’s Attorney John Pepmeyer; Galesburg Police Chief David Christensen; Rene Sandoval, Director of the Multi-county Narcotic Enforcement Group, known as PMEG; and Illinois State Police, to announce the indictment. The case is being prosecuted in federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tate Chambers.

The indictment alleges that Cramer, identified in January 2013 by Knox County law enforcement as its ‘most wanted’ violent offender, conspired with Davis, Bell and Epperson, and others, to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine in Knox County. The indictment charges the four with participating in the conspiracy over a four-year period, beginning in or about January 2009 and continuing to January 2013, and involving more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

If convicted, the penalty for the offense carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years to life in prison. If a defendant has one prior felony drug conviction, the mandatory minimum penalty is enhanced to 20 years to life in prison. With two or more prior felony drug convictions, the statutory penalty is life in prison without parole.

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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