NEWS RELEASE

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 20, 2010 FAUSA Randy G. M assey
(618) 628-3700
COBDEN MAN INDICTED IN
HEROIN CONSPIRACY

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on December 15, 2010, ROBERTO ALANIZ, a/k/a “Berto,” age 26, of Cobden, Illinois, was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in East St. Louis, Illinois, in a one-count superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute heroin. The violation took place between December 2008 and May 17, 2010, in Union and Jackson Counties.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The charged offense carries a potential penalty of 5-40 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000,000, and a term of 4 years’ supervised release. ALANIZ is scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court on January 6, 2011. One previously indicted co-defendant has pled guilty and been sentenced for her role in the heroin conspiracy. Two co-defendants have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. One co-defendant has pled not guilty and is currently awaiting jury trial.

The investigation was conducted bythe Union CountySheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, and Murphysboro Police Department, in cooperation with Union County States Attorney Tyler Edmonds. The investigation is being conducted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, a cooperative effort of local, state, and federal law enforcement, and state and federal prosecuting authorities, aimed at ridding communities of illegal drugs and guns.

The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.