Federal Judge Sentences Man to Nearly Eight Years in Prison for Illegally Possessing Loaded Handgun in Chicago
ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard on a federal drug trafficking charge.
MAURICE D. NEAL (also known as “Moe”), 37, was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Neal pleaded guilty on June 25, 2019, to distributing heroin.
In a written plea agreement, Neal admitted that between October 2015 and September 2016, he operated a heroin trafficking business in the Rockford area, and maintained two cellphone lines as hotlines for customers to order and purchase heroin. Neal typically sold user-quantity amounts of heroin, such as a gram or a half gram, but occasionally did larger transactions. Neal admitted he engaged in a large number of transactions each day, selling at least ten to 15 grams of heroin a day, resulting in sales of at least 4,500 grams of heroin during the time period that he operated his heroin trafficking business.
The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Brian M. McKnight, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; and Brendan F. Kelly, Acting Director of the Illinois State Police. The case was investigated by the Rockford Resident Agency of the DEA's Chicago Field Office, and the Stateline Area Narcotics Team (“SLANT”), a task force led by the Illinois State Police. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, and the Rockford Police Department assisted in the investigation. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret J. Schneider.
A co-defendant, QUINCY L. ATMORE (also known as “Q”), 47, of Rockford, pleaded guilty on Jan. 17, 2018, to distributing heroin. Atmore was sentenced on May 9, 2018, to 17 years in federal prison.