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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 24, 2020

Chicago Area Drug Trafficker Convicted of Drug and Firearms Offenses in East Central Illinois

URBANA, Ill. – A federal jury deliberated less than two hours before returning guilty verdicts late yesterday evening, Jan. 23, 2020, against Deon Evans, 35, of Markham, Ill., for trafficking methamphetamine, carrying or possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. Evans had previously pleaded guilty to distributing heroin in the same case. Sentencing for Evans has been scheduled on May 22, 2020, at the U.S. Courthouse in Urbana.

The government presented evidence over three days of trial to establish that Evans traveled from his residence in Markham to Iroquois County on July 29, 2016, where he met a DEA confidential source at the Pilot Gas Station at the Gilman exit off Interstate 57, and distributed 48.4 grams of heroin to the source in exchange for $4,500. During the video and audio-recorded meeting, Evans also offered to sell ecstasy to the confidential source. On Aug. 24, 2016, Evans brought an associate and two loaded firearms to the same location to meet the same source. During this meeting, Evans sold the confidential source 124.3 grams of heroin for $11,250.

After selling the heroin on Aug. 24, Evans’ BMW was stopped by troopers with the Illinois State Police as it was heading north on Interstate 57. During the search of Evan’s car, troopers found the $11,250 in proceeds used to purchase the heroin hidden under the back seat of the BMW, along with the two fully loaded firearms, an extra magazine, and 173 ecstasy pills that contained methamphetamine. Trial evidence established that Evans obtained one of those firearms – a Glock, Model 30, .45 caliber, semi-automatic pistol – by trading a heroin user two grams of heroin and $100 in exchange for the gun, which had been stolen from Indiana. Evans’ DNA was later found on the bottom of the magazine of this gun. Additional trial evidence showed that Evans used two women – known as “straw purchasers” – to purchase guns for him in Birmingham, Alabama.

Evans remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. At sentencing, Evans faces statutory penalties of a minimum of five years and up to 40 years in prison for distribution of more than 100 grams of heroin (one count); and, for carrying or possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime (two counts), the penalty is a minimum of 25 years in prison, to be served consecutive to any other sentence imposed for the underlying drug trafficking crime. The maximum penalty for trafficking methamphetamine is up to 30 years in prison and for possession of firearm by a felon, up to 10 years in prison.

The case investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Chicago Division, Springfield Resident Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Springfield, Ill., and Birmingham Field Offices; and, the Illinois State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eugene L. Miller and Rachel E. Ritzer represented the government at trial.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated January 27, 2020