News and Press Releases


June 8, 2011

A Centralia, Illinois man, convicted of various crack cocaine charges, was sentenced to 300 months (25 years) in federal prison on June 6, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

David N. Barnes, 23, of Centralia, previously pleaded guilty to three counts in a Superceding Indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Benton, Illinois. Count 1 charged that from about June 2007, to September 30, 2009, in Jefferson County, Marion County, and elsewhere, Barnes and others conspired and agreed with each other and with other persons to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, crack cocaine. The amount of crack cocaine involved in the conspiracy was more than fifty (50) grams. Counts 4 and 5 charged Barnes with distribution of crack cocaine on March 19, 2009, and March 31, 2009.

“As Mr. Barnes and Mr. Meredith have learned, drug dealers of any kind, especially repeat offenders, should stay away from Southern Illinois. If they do not, they will be found and they will be prosecuted. Federal time (in prison) is real time, as Mr. Barnes will find. The simple lesson is that you should not distribute your illegal drugs in Southern Illinois,” said United States Attorney Wigginton.

At sentencing, the District Court Judge determined that Barnes was responsible for conduct involving more than 8,000 grams of crack cocaine. In addition, Barnes’s sentence was increased because the District Court Judge determined that Barnes was a career offender.

United States Attorney Wigginton praised the teamwork and cooperative efforts of the investigation conducted by the Centralia Police Department, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, the Joint Narcotics Unit of the Mt. Vernon Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Illinois State Police, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County State’s Attorney’s Office, the United States Secret Service, the United States Marshal Service, 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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