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Press Release

Federal Drug Indictment Filed

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

Six Southern Illinois residents made their initial appearance in federal court on February 7, 2013, on a one-count second superseding indictment charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, in United States District Court in Benton announced Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois.

Virgil Easton, a/k/a “Pee Wee,” 35, Joshua B. Kennedy, 22, Rebecca L. Fortner, 31, Samantha L. Schneider, 29, all of Cutler, Leila M. Jaimet, 45, of Campbell Hill, and Phillip D. Jaimet, 25, of Percy were charged in a one-count second superseding indictment charging conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. The offense occurred between November, 2011, and January, 2013, in Perry, Jackson, and Randolph Counties. The offense carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of up to $1,000,000. All co-defendants are being held without bond pending their detention hearing which will be held on February 12, 2013. Previously, eight co-defendants have previously appeared in federal court on this charge.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Sheriff’s Office Percy Police Department, Murphysboro Police Department, Sparta Police Department, Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The United States Marshals Service has also assisted during the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson.

Updated February 19, 2015