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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 19, 2014

Four Southern Illinois Residents Charged With Methamphetamine Conspiracy

On May 19, 2014, Rusty J. Smith, 35, and Jonathan E. Merydith, 26, both of Cobden, Ruth D. Wiseman, a/k/a “Diane Wiseman,” 51, of Anna, and Shannon L. Connett, 36, of Marion, were charged by indictment with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

The offense occurred between 2012 and March 2014, in Union, Williamson, and Jackson Counties. Wiseman made her initial appearance in federal court on May 12, 2014. Merydith and Connett made their initial appearances in federal court on May 19, 2014. Wiseman and Merydith are currently being held without bond pending a July 21, 2014, jury trial. Connett is currently being held without bond pending a May 20, 2014, detention hearing. Smith is currently a fugitive.

The methamphetamine offense carries a penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of $1,000,000.

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 Union County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Illinois State Police, Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Marion Police Department, Carbondale Police Department, Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team and Drug Enforcement Administration. The 19th Judicial District Drug Task Force (Tennessee) assisted in the investigation.

The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

Updated February 19, 2015