News and Press Releases


July 11, 2011

A Marion, IL, man pled guilty on July 7, 2011, in Federal District Court in Benton, IL, to Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

Melvin Willis, a/k/a “Snobs,” 35, of Marion, pled guilty to a one-count indictment charging Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine. Because Willis has a prior felony drug conviction, his offense, at sentencing, carries a potential penalty of 20 years to life in prison, a fine of up to $8,000,000 and 10 years’ supervised release. The offense occurred between 2008 and June 19, 2010, in Jackson and Williamson Counties. Evidence offered at the plea hearing established that Willis was involved with others in the distribution of crack cocaine in the Herrin, Marion, Carbondale, and Murphysboro areas. Willis, who sometimes carried a gun during drug transactions, admitted that he was responsible for the distribution of at least 196 grams of crack cocaine. Willis is being held without bond pending his October 28, 2011, sentencing hearing.

The investigation was conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Murphysboro Police Department, Marion Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration.

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



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