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Press Release

Two More Defendants Sentenced for Conspiring to Manufacture Marijuana in Rockford Warehouse

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

ROCKFORD — Two out-of-state residents were sentenced this week by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala for their roles in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana.


DESTINY FREEMAN, 24, of Palmer, Alaska, was sentenced today to 23 months in federal prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release.


CASEY S. WILLIAMS, 30, of Great Falls, Montana, was sentenced Wednesday to 57 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.


The sentencings were announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Celinez Nunez, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; Derek Bergsten, Chief of the Rockford Fire Department; and Anthony Scarpelli, Chief of the Skokie Police Department. The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Unit and the Rockford Police Department Narcotics Unit assisted in the investigation.


In 2016, Williams and Freeman pleaded guilty to conspiring with five other individuals to manufacture, possess and distribute marijuana plants. The superseding information alleged that between Jan. 2, 2013, and Jan. 6, 2015, the pair conspired to illegally grow and store marijuana in a warehouse at 1916 11th St. in Rockford. The warehouse was destroyed by fire on Jan. 6, 2015.


The five co-defendants are YOUSIF Y. PIRA, 64, of Chicago, JEREMIAH N. CLEMENT, 39, formerly of Des Plaines, GEORGE H. BACUS, 53, of Niles, JUSTIN T. PAGLUSCH, 36, of Ingleside, and SHLIMON SHIMON, 49, of Chicago.


According to Williams’ and Freeman’s written plea agreements, in August 2014 Williams’ former employer, Jeremiah N. Clement, asked Williams to travel to Rockford to assist Clement with cleaning out a building and some irrigation construction inside a building in Rockford. At the time, Williams was living in Montana and dating Freeman. Clement recruited Williams to join the conspiracy, and Williams in turn recruited Freeman. Williams and Freeman lived in the warehouse while they assisted in the marijuana-growing operation by watering and caring for the marijuana crop and later assisting in harvesting and processing the marijuana.


In July 2017, following a four-day jury trial in U.S. District Court in Rockford, Pira was found guilty of conspiring to manufacture, possess and distribute 1,000 or more marijuana plants. Pira is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 17, 2017, at 2:30 p.m.


Bacus pleaded guilty on July 6, 2016, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 22, 2017, at 2:30 p.m.


Clement pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment on June 3, 2016.


Paglusch pleaded guilty and was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment on June 23, 2016.


An arrest warrant has been issued for Shimon, who is still at large.


The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph C. Pedersen.

Updated August 24, 2017

Drug Trafficking