ROCKFORD — Two Rockford, Ill. brothers were sentenced before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala on drug charges. Today, TIERRE A. BAZZELLE, 39, who pleaded guilty on Dec. 16, 2015, to conspiracy to distribute cocaine, was sentenced to 127 months in federal prison, to be followed by four years’ supervised release.
According to the written plea agreement, between Feb. 1, 2014 and May 6, 2014, Bazzelle conspired with his brother, co-defendant TALIB O. BAZZELLE, to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and cocaine base, commonly referred to as “crack.” Between March 14, 2014 and May 6, 2014, Tierre Bazzelle purchased approximately 1,456 grams of cocaine that he sold to his customers. Tierre Bazzelle provided a portion of the 1,456 grams of cocaine to Talib Bazzelle, and directed him to distribute it to Tierre Bazzelle’s customers. Tierre Bazzelle also directed his brother to collect money owed to Tierre Bazzelle for cocaine provided to customers on credit. Tierre Bazzelle also admitted that he converted a portion of the cocaine to “crack,” and provided Talib Bazzelle with a total of at least 168 grams of crack cocaine between Feb. 1, 2014 and May 6, 2014. As stated in the plea agreement, on May 6, 2014, the two brothers met with an individual in a grocery parking lot in Rockford, then drove a short distance into a neighborhood where Tierre Bazzelle purchased cocaine. After driving a short distance away, Tierre Bazzelle’s vehicle was stopped by law enforcement agents. When the defendant was searched, a bag containing the 7.5 ounces of cocaine was located in his pants.
As further stated in the plea agreement, the defendant possessed a .45 caliber handgun that was found between the cushions of a couch in the living room of his residence. The gun was loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition in the magazine and one round in the chamber, and a box of ammunition was also found hidden under a cushion of a love seat in the living room. Other drug paraphernalia used to convert powder cocaine to crack, and package powder and crack cocaine were located in the home.
Talib Bazzelle, 34, pleaded guilty on Dec. 4, 2015, to possessing cocaine with intent to distribute. He was sentenced on March 17, 2016, to 162 months in federal prison, to be followed by a period of three years of supervised release.
The sentencing of Tierre Bazzelle was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was a result of a joint investigation by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and the FBI.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen.