Freeport Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison on Drug Trafficking Charge
ROCKFORD — A Freeport man was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala on a federal drug trafficking charge.
FRANK HOWARD, 36, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
The sentencing was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Leo P. Schmitz, Director of the Illinois State Police; and Todd Barkalow, Freeport Police Chief. The investigation was conducted by the Rockford Area Violent Gang Task Force, the Stateline Area Narcotics Team ("SLANT"), and the Freeport Police Department. The Rockford Area Violent Gang Task Force is led by the FBI and includes members of the Rockford, Loves Park, and Freeport Police Departments. SLANT is a task force led by the Illinois State Police. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret J. Schneider.
Howard pleaded guilty on Dec. 18, 2018, to possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute. In a written plea agreement, Howard admitted that on April 26, 2018, he drove to Chicago from Freeport and picked up cocaine from a source of supply. As Howard was driving the cocaine back to Freeport to sell to customers, he was stopped by law enforcement on Interstate 90 near Rockford. With the assistance of a K-9 unit, law enforcement officers discovered approximately 126 grams of cocaine in Howard’s vehicle.
Howard also admitted in the plea agreement that during the same time period, he sold cocaine on four occasions to an individual who, unbeknownst to Howard, was a confidential informant working with law enforcement.