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Justice News

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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ridgeway Man Pleads Guilty To Marijuana Manufacturing Offenses

Ryan Earl Bess, 33, of Ridgeway, Illinois, pled guilty today in United States District Court in Benton to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiring with two other individuals to grow more than 100 marijuana plants and one count of actually growing more than 100 marijuana plants, Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today. The indictment, returned by a Federal Grand Jury on September 5, 2012, alleged that the offenses occurred in Gallatin County between April 2012 and August 29, 2012. Ryan fled Illinois following his indictment and was arrested in Colorado earlier this year.

Sentencing was set for February 11, 2015, at the United States District Courthouse in Benton. At that time, Bess faces between 5 and 40 years imprisonment, up to a $5 million fine, and 4 years to life on supervised release to follow his incarceration on each count.

The case was investigated by the Carmi office of the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.

Updated February 19, 2015