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Press Release

Drug Dealer / Program Thief Faces 12 1/2 Years In Prison

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

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that on February 14, 2013, Kerry L. Smith, 41, of Carbondale, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in Benton, Illinois. Smith, who had previously pled guilty to a five-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute marihuana, engaging in an unlawful monetary transaction, concealment of material information from the Social Security Administration, and making a false statement (2 counts), was sentenced to 150 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $500 assessment. Smith was also ordered to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration and the Illinois Department of Human Services in the amount of $41,802.00. Additionally, the district court ordered Smith to pay a monetary forfeiture judgment in the amount of $790,020.00. Smith was also ordered to forfeit eight Carbondale residences, two vehicles, $10,576.03 cash, and other personal property to the United States.

“As if drug dealing, that is poisoning our citizens, was not enough, Smith stole from them, as well. This harsh but fair sentence should underscore the notion that such crimes will only result in tough federal prosecutions on my watch,” said United States Attorney Wigginton.

Evidence at the plea and sentencing hearings established that, from at least May, 2001, through February, 2007, Smith was involved with others in the distribution of marihuana in the Jackson County area. Smith acquired certain properties and assets as a result of the marihuana distribution. On December 6, 2007, Smith used over $12,000 in marihuana proceeds to purchase a 1998 Chevrolet Corvette. During this time, Smith also concealed certain information from the Social Security Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, including information that Smith was working and was acquiring real estate and other assets. This concealment allowed Smith to fraudulently collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and food stamps.

The investigation was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation and was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Division, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services - Office of Inspector General, Murphysboro Police Department, United States Marshals Service, Illinois Department of Corrections - Southern Region Intel Unit, and Drug Enforcement Administration. The Union County Sheriff’s Office, Southern Illinois Enforcement Group, and Carbondale Police Department also participated in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda A. Robertson and H. Michael Thompson.

Updated February 19, 2015