Guilty Pleas Entered in Meth Conspiracy
Six southern Illinois residents entered guilty pleas on November 30, 2011, December 1, 2011, and December 5, 2011, in Federal District Court in Benton to an Indictment, charging them with Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Joshua G. Taylor, 33, and Andrew J. McCann, 25, both of Murphysboro, Charles A. Williams, a/k/a “Spot,” 32, and Holly Phelps, 28 , both of Grand Tower, Geoffrey A. Phelps, 32, of Marion, and Patrick W. McLane, 29, Wolf Lake, pled guilty to an Indictment charging Conspiracy to Manufacture Methamphetamine. Taylor’s and Geoffrey Phelps’s offense carries a penalty of 20 years to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $20,000,000, and 10 years’ supervised release. McLane’s offense carries a penalty of 10 years to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000,000, and 5 years’ supervised release. McCann and Williams offense carries a penalty of 5-40 years, a fine of up to $5,000,000, and 4 years’ supervised release. Holly Phelps’ offense carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000 and 3 years’ supervised release.
The offense occurred between 2009 and April 6, 2011, in Jackson, Union, Randolph, and Williamson Counties. Evidence offered at the plea hearings established that these individuals were involved with others in the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. Nine co-defendants have previously pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Three co-defendants have pled not guilty and are awaiting a January 9, 2012, jury trial. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Murphysboro Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office, and Drug Enforcement Administration. The Jackson County States Attorney’s Office and United States Marshals Service also assisted during the investigation.
The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.