Five Charged With Heroin Trafficking Conspiracy Resulting In Death, Serious Bodily Injury
Peoria, Ill. – An indictment that charges five individuals with conspiracy to distribute heroin was unsealed this afternoon upon initial court appearances of three of the defendants in custody: Monta Y. Anderson, 35; Diondre P. Harris, 23; and, Walter Nealy IV, 36, made their initial appearance in federal court this afternoon. Harris, of Peoria, Ill., and Nealy previously of New Orleans, now residing in Peoria, were arrested on Sat., June 1; Anderson was already in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Two other defendants charged in the indictment, Leland D. Jones, 34; and Latanya R. Anderson, 37, both of Chicago, remain at large.
The charges are the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation announced today by U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois. The DEA task force worked cooperatively with the Peoria Police Department, Illinois State Police, and members of the Tazewell County Major Crimes Task Force and the Peoria Metropolitan Enforcement Group to investigate the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tate Chambers is prosecuting the case in the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division.
The indictment, which charges the defendants with a single count of conspiracy to distribute heroin, alleges that from about May 2010 to the present, the five defendants conspired to distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin. Further, the indictment alleges that as a result of this conspiracy, death and serious bodily injury resulted from use of the heroin.
If convicted, for the offense of conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin, the statutory penalty is 10 years to life in prison; if a defendant has one or more prior felony drug convictions, the penalty is 20 years to life in prison; with two or more prior felony drug convictions, the statutory penalty is life in prison. If it is found that death or serious bodily injury resulted from the use of the heroin, the penalty is a mandatory 20 years in prison to life sentence.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.