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Justice News

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mason City Mother And Son Charged with Conspiracy To Make And Distribute Methamphetamine


Peoria, Ill. – A Mason City, Ill., woman, Denise A. Taylor, 42, of the 400 block of S. Keefer Street, appeared in federal court today in Peoria, as announced by Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. Taylor was arrested yesterday on the indictment returned by the grand jury last week but sealed pending her arrest and court appearance. The indictment charges Taylor and her son, Brendin L. Williams, 23, with one count of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine from 2010 to the present. Williams is currently in the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections and is expected to make his initial appearance in federal court on Oct. 9, 2014. 
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley ordered that Taylor be detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals service and set the case for detention hearing on Oct. 9, at 1:00 p.m. Trial is scheduled on Dec. 1, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Teddy Lee, Jr., 25, also of the 400 block of S. Keefer Street, Mason City, is tentatively scheduled for trial on Oct. 14, 2014. The grand jury charged Lee in late July with participating in a conspiracy to manufacture more than 50 grams of meth, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of a stolen firearm. Lee was ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending trial.

“Law enforcement is on the front line, protecting the community from people who make and distribute methamphetamine,” said U.S. Attorney Lewis. “We appreciate this opportunity to work with law enforcement and protect this community.”

“This is yet another example of superb cooperation by the Mason County Sheriff’s Office with the investigators of ‘Operation Copperhead’ and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Mason County Sheriff Paul Gann. “These defendants now face federal charges related to the manufacture of methamphetamine, but we’re not done yet.”

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney K. Tate Chambers in coordination with the Mason County State’s Attorney’s Office. The charges are the result of an ongoing investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Mason County Sheriff’s Office; the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office; and, the Pekin Police Department.

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

If convicted, the statutory maximum penalty for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, if the defendant has no prior felony drug convictions, is 10 years to life in prison and fines of up to $4,000,000.  With one prior felony drug conviction, the penalty increases to 20 years to life in prison and fines of up to $8,000,000; with two or more prior felony drug convictions, the penalty is life in prison.  The maximum penalty for the offenses of felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Updated June 23, 2015