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Press Release

Rockford Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Fentanyl and Illegally Possessing a Firearm

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

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for trafficking fentanyl and crack cocaine and illegally possessing a firearm.

DERRICK A. MAYES JR., 32, pleaded guilty last year to knowingly and intentionally possessing more than 260 grams of fentanyl and nearly 97 grams of crack cocaine, and unlawfully possessing the firearm.  U.S. District Judge Iain D. Johnston on Wednesday sentenced Mayes to 108 months in federal prison.

Mayes admitted in a plea agreement that he illegally possessed the drugs and firearm on April 29, 2021, in his apartment and vehicle.  The firearm was a loaded Smith & Wesson MP9 Shield handgun.  Mayes had previously been convicted of a felony and was prohibited from possessing the gun.  Mayes further admitted that in 2020 and 2021 he sold distribution quantities of fentanyl and crack cocaine to confidential informants.

The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Sheila G. Lyons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.  The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Ladd.

Holding illegal firearm possessors accountable through federal prosecution is a centerpiece of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) – the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy.  In the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and law enforcement partners have deployed the PSN program to attack a broad range of violent crime issues facing the district, particularly firearm offenses.

Updated February 29, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime