Seven Indicted in Meth Conspiracy
Seven southern Illinois residents were indicted on February 7, 2012, in an indictment, charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
On February 9, 2012, Shana L. Ewing, 38, of Marion, Richard S. Spurgeon, a/k/a “Shane Spurgeon,” 37, of Murphysboro, Robert L. Shreve, Jr., 22, of Creal Springs, Ambre Harmon, a/k/a “Amber Harmon,” 35, of Carterville, and Heather Ashmore, 35, of Johnston City, appeared in federal court in Benton, on the one-count indictment charging conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The five co-defendants are being held without bond, pending their February 14, 2012, detention hearings. Two additional co-defendants, Jason Scott Byrley, 34, of Pittsburg, and Robert L. Pearson, 33, of Marion, are scheduled to make their initial appearances in federal court on February 28, 2012.
The conspiracy offense is alleged to have occurred between 2008, and January 30, 2012, in Williamson, Jackson, Saline, and Franklin Counties. The offense carries a penalty of a term of imprisonment from 10 years to life, a fine of not more than $10 million, and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years. 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 Drug Enforcement Administration and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Murphysboro Police Department, Marion Police Department, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, Carrier Mills Police Department, Harrisburg Police Department, and United States Marshals Service.
The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.