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OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS

STEPHEN R. WIGGINTON UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

Nine Executive Drive, Fairview Heights, Illinois 62208 402 West Main Street, Benton, Illinois 62812

For Immediate Release Public Information Officer December 14, 2010 FAUSA Randy G. Massey (618) 628-3700

THREE MEN SENTENCED FOR DISTRIBUTING COCAINE

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on December 13, 2010, BRIAN SOSTENES, age 21, of Chicago, IL, ROBERT D. MALDONADO, age 30, and WESLEY A. KNIGHT, age 24, both of Robinson, IL, were sentenced in United States District Court in Benton, Illinois. SOSTENES was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment, 4 years of supervised release, and was fined $500. MALDONADO was sentenced to 41months imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and was fined $300. KNIGHT was sentenced to 30months imprisonment, 3 years of supervised release, and was fined $600.

All three defendants had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. In addition to the conspiracy count, SOSTENES pled guilty to three counts of distribution of cocaine, and MALDONADO and KNIGHT each pled guilty to two counts of distribution. A fourth co-defendant, VALENTIN C. SANCHEZ, age 29, also of Robinson, was convicted on December 2, 2010, following a three-dayjurytrial, of the conspiracy charge, one count of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. SANCHEZ is currently scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2011.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, the Robinson, IL Police Department, the Crawford County State’s Attorney’s Office, and other law enforcement agencies pursuant to their participation in the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a joint and cooperative effort of the United States Attorney’s Office, and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies directed at removing guns and drugs from our communities.

The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney George Norwood.

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