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Press Release

Chicago-Area Gun and Drug Trafficker Sentenced to Sixty-Five Years in Prison for Firearms and Drug Offenses in East Central Illinois

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

URBANA, Ill. – A Markham, Illinois, man, Deon Evans, 37, was sentenced on January 31, 2022, to sixty-five years and eight months’ imprisonment in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for trafficking heroin and methamphetamine, carrying and possessing a firearm during his drug trafficking crimes, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce found that Evans faced mandatory consecutive twenty-five-year sentences for his separate offenses of carrying a firearm while distributing heroin and possessing a firearm in furtherance of his possession of methamphetamine (in the form of the street drug “ecstasy”) with the intent to distribute it. Judge Bruce further determined that Evans was involved in the trafficking of at least eight to twenty-four firearms. And Judge Bruce found that Evans had obstructed justice by providing false testimony during his case. Evans’s sentence was enhanced because he was on federal supervised release at the time of his offenses from a 2007 conviction for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime in the Southern District of Iowa.

Evans was convicted following a jury trial in January 2020. During the three-day trial, the government presented evidence to establish that Evans traveled from his residence in Markham to a gas station in Gilman, Illinois, in July 2016, where he sold 48.4 grams of heroin in exchange for $4,500. The next month, Evans again travelled to the gas station to meet the same buyer, this time bringing an associate and two loaded firearms. During this meeting, Evans sold 124.3 grams of heroin for $11,250.

After the August 2016 heroin sale, Evans’s BMW was stopped by troopers with the Illinois State Police as it was heading north on Interstate 57. During the search of Evans’s car, troopers found the cash used to purchase the heroin hidden under the back seat, 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. Additional trial evidence showed that Evans used two women – known as “straw purchasers” – to purchase guns for him in Birmingham, Alabama, which he then sold illegally in Chicago.

“Unfortunately, gun violence and deadly opioids, such as the heroin distributed in this case, continue to represent a danger to our communities here in the Central District of Illinois,” said Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller, who represented the government at sentencing. “We will continue to support our federal and local law enforcement partners in pursuing these prosecutions in order to deter this dangerous behavior.”

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

Updated February 1, 2022