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Press Release

Cahokia Heights Man Gets 188 Months in Prison for Gun, Drug Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois
Lauren Barry, Public Affairs Officer

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A U.S. District sentencing judge ordered a Cahokia Heights man to spend 188 months in federal prison after he admitted to distributing fentanyl and methamphetamine and possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute the drugs in St. Clair County.

Nickolas Shannon, 29, previously pled guilty to one count of felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intention to distribute. Upon release from federal prison, he will serve five years of supervised release.

“Fentanyl is poisoning our communities at an alarming rate, and we’re confronting the crisis in southern Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Individuals found responsible for distributing illicit drugs can and will be subjected to steep federal prison sentences.”

"Too often DEA finds illegal drugs and firearms in our cases," said Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael E. Rehg, head of Drug Enforcement Administration enforcement operations in southern Illinois. "Drug trafficking is a violent business and a primary reason we investigate cases like this one. The successful prosecution and sentencing of Nickolas Shannon is a reminder that the DEA will pursue these criminals not only to stop the illegal distribution of fentanyl in our communities, but also to prevent the associated violence that comes with felons possessing guns."

According to court documents, DEA agents began investigating Shannon for distributing controlled substances in December 2021 based on information from a confidential source. Undercover sources working with DEA bought 5.4 grams of fentanyl and 6.883 grams of methamphetamine from Shannon on two separate occasions in St. Clair County. Shortly after, agents arrested Shannon and conducted a search warrant on his apartment.

During the search, agents located 1.735 grams of cocaine base, 1.162 grams of cocaine and 2.9 grams of fentanyl as well as a drug paraphernalia and three loaded and unsecured firearms, including an AR-15 rifle. In an interview with police, Shannon acknowledged he is a convicted felon and therefore unable to legally possess firearms. Further DEA investigation revealed that Shannon was responsible for the distribution of nearly 300 grams of fentanyl. 

DEA led the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel S. Carraway prosecuted the case.

Updated May 18, 2023