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Press Release

Springfield, Illinois Man Convicted of Possession with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and Firearms Offenses

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

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A federal jury returned a guilty verdict on May 29, 2024, against James Russwinkel of the 20th block of Country Lake Road, Springfield, Illinois, for possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, and possession of a firearm or ammunition by a felon. Sentencing for Russwinkel is scheduled for October 2, 2024, at 1:30 P.M., at the U.S. Courthouse in Springfield, Illinois before U.S. District Judge Colleen Lawless.

During two days of testimony, the government presented evidence that, on May 8, 2020, Russwinkel, a convicted felon, was stopped while driving and subsequently arrested by Springfield Police Officers because he had an outstanding warrant. During a search of Russwinkel, officers found a loaded 9mm magazine, a loose 9mm round, and a large amount of U.S. Currency. Police Officers then searched the vehicle and located within arm’s reach of Russwinkel, a black backpack containing over 26 grams of methamphetamine in multiple bags, a 9mm pistol without its magazine, and an even larger amount of U.S. Currency. In total, $14,637 was seized. The jury found that the defendant possessed the methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possessed the firearm in furtherance of his drug distribution. The jury also found Russwinkel possessed the firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon.

Russwinkel remains in the custody of U.S. Marshals Service pending sentencing. At sentencing, Russwinkel faces statutory penalties of not less than five years and up to forty years in prison for possession with intent to deliver five grams or more of methamphetamine; not less than 5 years in prison consecutive to the possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute charge for the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and not more than 10 years in prison, for possession of a firearm or ammunition by a felon.

The prosecution was the result of an investigation by Springfield Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorneys Tanner K. Jacobs and Sierra Senor-Moore represented the government at trial.

The case against Russwinkel is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated May 30, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking