Johnston City Man Pleads Guilty to Methamphetamine Conspiracy
On February 8, 2013, Steven A. Smith, 33, of Johnston City, IL, pled guilty in United States District Court in Benton to a one-count indictment which charged conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today.
The offense occurred between 2010 and January, 2012, in Williamson, Jackson, and Franklin Counties. Evidence at the plea hearing established that Smith conspired with others in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Smith was involved in stealing anhydrous ammonia and obtaining pseudoephedrine for use during methamphetamine “cooks.” Smith stipulated that he was responsible for the manufacture of between 500 grams and 1.5 kilograms of methamphetamine.
Sentencing was set for May 23, 2013. At that time, Smith faces from 20 years to life imprisonment, a fine of up to $20,000,000 and 10 years’ supervised release. Co-defendants Christopher D. Norris and Robert D. Starcher have previously been sentenced to prison terms of 216 months and 100 months, respectively, for their role in the methamphetamine conspiracy. Two other co-defendants have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Murphysboro Police Department, Marion Police Department, Illinois State Police, Mt. Vernon Police Department, and Drug Enforcement Administration.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson.