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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Four Arrests Bring to Six the Number of McDonough County Defendants Charged with Trafficking Methamphetamine in West Central Illinois

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The arrest of four defendants last week brings the total to six charged to date in federal court as a result of an ongoing investigation of methamphetamine trafficking in West Central Illinois. Jerel J. Guarin, 42 of Colchester, Ill., and Shawn T. Connelly, 46; Trenton L. Sealock, 25; and, Amanda S. Edwards, 40, all of Bardolph, Ill., were arrested on Sept. 18, 2020, and made their initial appearances via video before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley. Trial for the four is scheduled on Nov. 2, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow in Rock Island.

Connelly, Edwards, and Sealock have been ordered to remain detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. A detention hearing for Guarin is scheduled on Friday, Sept. 25.

Two additional defendants, Jeanna M. Rechkemmer, 33, of Bushnell, Ill., and Amber M. Phelps, 29, of Macomb, were previously indicted in March 2020. On Aug. 25, 2020, Phelps entered a plea of guilty to the charge and sentencing has been scheduled on Dec. 1, 2020. Rechkemmer is scheduled for an initial appearance on a superseding indictment and change of plea hearing on Sept. 25, 2020.

The indictments allege that the defendants participated in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of methamphetamine in West Central Illinois from January 2019 to February 2020.

The maximum statutory penalty for the offense is 10 years to life in prison.

The charges are the result of an ongoing investigation dubbed “Operation Icy Road,” by the Macomb / McDonough County Drug Unit. The McDonough County Sheriff’s Office, the Macomb Police Department, and the Galesburg Police Department conducted the investigations with the assistance of the West Central Illinois Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer L. Mathew is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois, Rock Island Division, in cooperation with the McDonough County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Updated September 23, 2020