Fairmont City Man Pleads Guilty to Cocaine Conspiracy
A Fairmont City man pled guilty on March 29, 2013, in federal court to being a member of a large cocaine distribution organization, the United States for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Antonio O. Escobar, 27, pled guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With the Intent to Distribute Cocaine. He also admitted the Forfeiture Allegation contained in the Indictment.
Escobar is currently scheduled to be sentenced on July 3, 2013, in United States District Court in East St. Louis. He faces a potential sentence of ten years to life in prison, a fine of up to $5,000,000, at least 5 years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
To date, twenty-eight other members of the organization have been convicted and sentenced. One individual who was indicted at the same time as Escobar is pending trial. He is presumed to be innocent of all charges and is entitled to a fair trial at which the Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Evidence in support of the indictment was obtained in an investigation which was conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF initiative is designed to bring federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and resources together to identify, target and dismantle large national and international drug trafficking organizations. Participating agencies include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Marshal Service, the Granite City Police Department, Fairmont City Police Department, Collinsville Police Department, Fairview Heights Police Department, Caseyville Police Department, Pontoon Beach Police Department, Park Hills (Missouri) Police Department, the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, and the Illinois State Police. This case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Randy G. Massey.