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Press Release

Champaign Felon to Serve 35 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Guns Related to Trafficking Crack Cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

URBANA, Ill. – Samuel J. Yarber, 45, of the 2000 block of Moreland Blvd., Champaign, Ill., has been ordered to serve 35 years in federal prison. On Feb. 23, 2018, Yarber was sentenced to 10 years for trafficking crack cocaine to be followed by the mandatory minimum 25 years for possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. Yarber was also ordered to remain on supervised release for eight years following his release from prison. Yarber has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest on Dec. 14, 2016.

On Sept. 20, 2017, Yarber pled guilty to possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Following a two-day trial in October 2017, the jury convicted Yarber of possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking.

According to court documents, government evidence demonstrates that soon after Yarber was released from federal prison after serving a sentence for prior federal drug charges, Yarber spent several months distributing more than a kilogram of crack cocaine. On Dec. 14, 2016, Yarber was arrested and found in possession of crack cocaine, over an ounce of heroin, and other illegal drugs. In furtherance of this conduct, Yarber acquired and possessed three semi-automatic firearms, including a stolen pistol and a Tec-9 with an extended magazine. In addition, Yarber received firearms as payment for crack cocaine.

The charges were investigated by the Champaign Street Crimes Task Force, including the Champaign Police Department, Urbana Police Department. University of Illinois Police Department, and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.

Updated February 26, 2018

Drug Trafficking
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