News and Press Releases


June 21, 2011

Lawrence R. Johnson, 33, of Centralia, Illinois, who was convicted of distributing crack cocaine, was sentenced to 200 months in federal prison on June 17, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Johnson was also placed on six years’ supervised release (which follows his term of imprisonment) and was fined $300.

Johnson had previously pleaded guilty to a two count Indictment returned by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Benton, Illinois. Count 1 charged that on May 19, 2009, Johnson knowingly and intentionally distributed crack cocaine. Count 2 charged that on May 28, 2009, Johnson knowingly and intentionally distributed crack cocaine. Johnson’s sentence was increased because the District Judge determined that Johnson was a career offender.

“This is, without a doubt, a very long, but very deserved sentence. Mr. Johnson did not become a career offender by accident. My office will strive to remove repeat offenders from our society by all legal means.” noted United States Attorney Wigginton.

The investigation was conducted by 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 Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s Office, 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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