Ten Persons Face Federal Methamphetamine Charges
A federal grand jury in Benton, Illinois, has charged 10 individuals with methamphetamine related offenses, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Those charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine are: Clarence “Buster” Ridlin, 50, Creal Springs., Illinois, Rick D. Keebler, 44, Bush, Illinois, Zachary A. Willard, 28, West Frankfort, Illinois, Lexie L. Mutchek, 26, West Frankfort, Illinois, Daniel W. Reinbold, 33, Royalton, Illinois, John F. Richardson, 52, Johnston City, Illinois, Lowell L. Skelton, 39, Carbondale, Illinois, Brittany N. Stroud, 25, Marion, Illinois, and Brandi L. Dunfee, 29, West Frankfort, Illinois. Christina L. Meeks, 27, Willisville, Illinois, was charged separately with purchasing pseudoephedrine for use in methamphetamine manufacturing. Those individuals charged with conspiracy face a minimum of 10 years imprisonment up to life, a $10 million fine, and at least 5 years supervised release. Meeks faces up to 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years supervised release.
An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. 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 investigation in this case has thus far resulted in the indictment of 53 individuals for methamphetamine related activities in Williamson, Franklin, and Jackson Counties. The still ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Illinois State Police, Southern Illinois Drug Task Force along with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Marshals Service, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Benton Police Department, Royalton Police Department, West City Police Department, Williamson County State’s Attorney’s Office, Franklin County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Jackson County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tom Leggans.