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Press Release

Chicago Resident Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Conspiring to Manufacture Marijuana in Rockford Warehouse

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

ROCKFORD — A Chicago man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala for his role in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. 


YOUSIF Y. PIRA, 65, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.  


On July 13, 2017, following a four-day jury trial in federal court in Rockford, Pira was found guilty of conspiring to manufacture, possess and distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants.  According to the indictment and the evidence at trial, between Jan. 2, 2013, and Jan. 6, 2015, Pira conspired with JEREMIAH N. CLEMENT, 39, of Des Plaines, GEORGE H. BACUS, 54, of Niles, JUSTIN T. PAGLUSCH, 36, of Ingleside, SHLIMON SHIMON, 49, of Chicago, CASEY WILLIAMS, 30, of Great Falls, Mont., and DESTINY FREEMAN, 24, of Palmer, Alaska, to illegally grow, store and distribute marijuana in a warehouse at 1916 11th Street in Rockford.  The warehouse was destroyed by a fire on Jan. 6, 2015.  As part of the conspiracy, Pira purchased grow lights and other equipment and supplies for the illegal operation to grow marijauna in the warehouse and installed wiring for the lights used to grow marijuana.


Clement, Paglusch, Bacus, Williams, and Freeman previously pleaded guilty and admitted their roles in the conspiracy.  Clement was sentenced on June 3, 2016, to ten years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release; Paglusch was sentenced on June 23, 2016, to ten years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release; Bacus was sentenced on Sept. 22, 2017, to 33 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release; Williams was sentenced on Aug. 23, 2017, to 57 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release; and Freeman was sentenced on Aug. 24, 2017, to 23 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release.  An arrest warrant was previously issued for Shimon, who is still at large.


Today's sentencing of Pira was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Celinez Nunez, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; Derek Bergsten, Chief of the Rockford Fire Department; and Anthony Scarpelli, Chief of the Skokie Police Department.  The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit and Rockford Police Department Narcotics Unit assisted in the investigation.


The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph C. Pedersen and Margaret J. Schneider.

Updated December 1, 2017

Drug Trafficking