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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Two Men Sentenced to Prison for Heroin Distribution

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Two men, William E. Sykes, Jr., 54, and Dionte Marquell Brown, 25, both of Silvis, Illinois, were sentenced on March 29, 2022, for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute heroin. Sykes, who had been convicted of distribution of heroin and conspiring to distribute heroin, was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Brown, who was convicted of conspiring to distribute heroin, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release.

According to court documents, Sykes and Brown, along with Brown’s sister, Mary Ann Brown, dealt heroin from an apartment they shared in Silvis. When law enforcement executed a search warrant on the apartment, they found heroin, plastic baggies, and a digital scale. Court documents further showed that heroin distributed by Sykes and Brown caused the death of a Silvis woman in September 2019.

At the hearing, U.S. District Judge Sara L. Darrow emphasized the tragic consequences of Sykes and Brown’s crimes, the need for their sentences to deter others from engaging in similar conduct, and the hope that such deterrence would prevent other families from going through the pain of losing a loved one. Judge Darrow also ordered that the men pay $10,360 in restitution (joint and several) to the family of the overdose victim.

Both Sykes and Brown had pleaded guilty in August 2021. Sykes faced statutory penalties of up to forty years in prison for distribution of heroin and conspiring to distribute heroin. Brown faced up to twenty years in prison for conspiring to distribute heroin. Mary Ann Brown also pleaded guilty to heroin distribution in July 2021 but has not yet been sentenced.

“This case starkly demonstrates what drug dealers can expect when they choose to sell poisonous drugs in our communities,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Grant Thomas Hodges. “Our office commends the Silvis Police Department’s dedication and perseverance in working up the chain to target drug dealers in our community. Their collaboration with FBI is a successful example of leveraging the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against drug dealers who profit off of vulnerable individuals with little care for the potentially tragic effects.”

“With this sentencing, two more drug dealers have been effectively stopped from spreading dangerous narcotics into Illinois communities,” said David Nanz, the Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Office.“This case highlights the danger posed to communities when drug dealers recklessly push illegal substances without regard for the deadly consequences. The FBI, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to be vigilant and aggressive in our pursuit of criminals whose actions endanger others.”

The Silvis Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Office, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Hodges and Kate Legge represented the government in the prosecution.

Updated March 30, 2022