FEDERAL JURY CONVICTS EAST ST. LOUIS MAN FOR POSSESSION WITH INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE “CRACK” COCAINE
An East St. Louis man was convicted by a jury for Possession With Intent To Distribute More Than 50 Grams Of Cocaine Base “Crack,” on March 29, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Cortez L. Wooten, 34, of East St. Louis, Ill.-, was charged on May 19, 2010, and now faces a term of up to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $8 million, and a mandatory minimum of 10 years of supervised release. Sentencing is set for July 8, 2011, at 11:00 a.m., before Chief Judge David R. Herndon.
Evidence at trial showed that members of the WAVE Team saw Wooten driving in East St. Louis. The Team knew that Wooten was wanted on a previously issued warrant. Upon stopping Wooten, the WAVE Team discovered in excess of fifty grams of “crack” cocaine, a scale and United States currency indicative of Wooten’s sale of the drug.
This case resulted from the efforts of the WAVE (Working Against Violent Elements) Task Force, which focuses its efforts on combating violent crime in East St. Louis, Washington Park, and surrounding communities. WAVE was formed in November 2009, and is a collaboration of law enforcement officers from the Illinois State Police, the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois (MEGSI), the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, the East St. Louis Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service. The WAVE Task Force received financial support through the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative, a nationwide federal program which endeavors to address gun-related violence.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney’s Daniel T. Kapsak and Mike J. Quinley.