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Justice News

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

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Chicago Brothers To Serve Significant Prison Terms For Trafficking Crack Cocaine In Quincy

Springfield, Ill. – Chicago brothers who organized a large-scale cocaine trafficking operation in Quincy, Ill., were sentenced in federal court today. U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough ordered Sylvester Purham, 24, and Howard Purham, 21, to serve 30-year and 20-year prison terms, respectively, for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine in the Quincy area for more than a year. In May 2012, both entered pleas of guilty to conspiracy to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine from August 2010 to mid-November 2011. The brothers have remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since they were arrested in January 2012.

According to court documents and during today’s hearing, the government presented evidence and Judge Myerscough found that the Purham brothers organized and controlled a group that since August 2010 had brought crack cocaine from Chicago to Quincy, Ill., to sell. The court found that Sylvester was responsible for 1.9 kilograms of crack cocaine and that Howard was responsible for 840 grams of crack cocaine. One way of transporting the drugs was via Amtrak. The brothers were associated with the Black P-Stone Nation street gang. In addition, Judge Myerscough found that the brothers orchestrated threats of government witnesses and failed to accept responsibility for their crimes.

The charges were investigated by the Illinois State Police West Central Illinois Task Force, the Quincy Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Agencies providing assistance include the U.S. Marshals’ Violent Fugitive Task Force, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois Department of Corrections. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Bohm in cooperation with Adams County State’s Attorney Jon Barnard.

Updated June 22, 2015