Urbana, Illinois, Man Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison for Methamphetamine Conspiracy
URBANA, Ill. – An Urbana, Illinois, man, Phoutasone Champanine, 37, was sentenced today to an aggregate 27 years in prison following his convictions for conspiracy to possess fifty grams or more of methamphetamine (actual) with intent to distribute, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and possessing a firearm as a felon. He was also ordered to serve an aggregate five years of supervised release.
At the sentencing hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce, the government sought to hold Champanine accountable for eight pounds of methamphetamine found on his person when he was arrested during a Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force operation and for additional methamphetamine and several firearms found in places that Champanine controlled in connection with the conspiracy. Judge Bruce included that relevant conduct in determining Champanine’s advisory sentencing guidelines.
The statutory penalties for conspiracy to possess fifty grams or more of methamphetamine (actual) with intent to distribute are ten years to life imprisonment, up to a $10,000,000 fine, and a maximum life term of supervised release. Champanine also faced up to twenty years of imprisonment, up to a $500,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release for maintaining a drug-involved premises. Finally, he faced up to ten years of imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release for possessing a firearm as a felon.
The case investigation was conducted by the Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional group composed of officers from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the Champaign Police Department, the Urbana Police Department, and the University of Illinois Police Department, with assistance provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office; Drug Enforcement Administration; and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Sullivan and William J. Lynch represented the government at both trial and sentencing.
The case against Champanine 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.