Six Freeport Men Arrested on Drug Charges
ROCKFORD — Six Freeport residents were arrested yesterday on criminal charges as part of a joint federal and state investigation into heroin and cocaine sales in the Freeport area. The arrests follow criminal indictments returned Tuesday by a federal grand jury in Rockford.
Arrested were JOSEPH COLEMAN, also known as “Big Joe,” 34, who was charged with three counts of distributing heroin and one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine between April 2017 and June 2017; TRISTAN EUELL, also known as “Whip,” 35, charged with one count of distributing heroin in May 2017; ANTHONY THOMPSON, also known as “Blimp,” 42, charged with one count of distributing cocaine in April 2017; FRANK HOWARD, also known as “Nub,” 36, charged with four counts of distributing cocaine and one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine between February 2018 and April 2018; KYRAN WILLIAMS, also known as “Skinny,” 23, charged with four counts of distributing heroin between April 2017 and June 2018; and TERRANCE YOUNG, also known as, “Sleepy,” 45, charged with three counts of distributing cocaine between July 2017 and December 2017.
During the investigation, law enforcement seized four firearms, distribution quantities of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, and over $65,000 in cash.
The charges and arrests were 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”), a task force led by the Illinois State Police, and the Freeport Police Department. The Rockford Area Violent Gang Task Force is led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and includes members of the FBI and the Rockford, Loves Park, and Freeport Police Departments. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret J. Schneider.
“Heroin and cocaine are dangerous narcotics that are ravaging families and communities in northwestern Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “These indictments are the result of the diligent efforts of investigators and prosecutors to identify and dismantle a significant drug trafficking organization.”
“These arrests and seizures demonstrate our unwavering commitment to work with our partners to put an end to drug-related violence anywhere it's found in northern Illinois,” said FBI SAC Sallet. “We are proud to work side by side with the U.S. Attorney's Office, the Rockford Area Violent Gang Task Force, the Freeport Police Department and the Illinois State Police's State Line Area Narcotics Team to bring these individuals to justice. Those who endanger our communities with drugs should realize, you will be stopped.”
“The arrests are the result of a multiagency initiative that targeted drug trafficking in our city,” said Freeport Chief Barkalow. “This investigation, spanning 24 months, is in cooperation with the FBI Safe Streets Task Force and the Illinois State Police, that targeted upper-level narcotic dealers. These arrests should send a loud and clear message to those in our city committing drug offenses: we know who you are, the community knows who you are, and you could be next.”
“The work with the FBI is an example of multiple agency work across city, state and federal agencies to address criminal elements in the City of Freeport,” said Lowell Crow, Freeport City Manager.
Defendants Coleman, Thompson, Howard, Williams, and Terrance Young all appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Iain D. Johnston in federal court in Rockford, and pleaded not guilty. Detention hearings are set for next week. Defendant Euell is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Johnston on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2018, for an initial appearance and detention hearing.
Each count of the indictment carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of up to 40 years in prison. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.