Fugitive Leader of Drug Trafficking Operation Sentenced to Thirty Years in Federal Prison for Trafficking Cocaine into Southern Illinois
On November 17, 2015, Skyler Elder, 25, Joseph D. Smith, 42, and Jamie L. Smith, 34, all of Pinckneyville, were sentenced in United States District Court, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Elder, who had previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, was sentenced to 100 months in federal prison, 3 years’ supervised release, and fined $725.00. Joseph and Jamie Smith had previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and one count of possessing pseudoephedrine knowing that it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine. Joseph Smith was sentenced to 60 months in prison, 3 years’ supervised release, and fined $825.00. Jamie Smith was sentenced to 54 months in prison, 3 years’ supervised release, and fined $800.00.
The offenses occurred between 2012 and December 2014, in Perry, Jackson, Randolph, and Franklin Counties. Evidence at the plea and sentencing hearings established that Elder, Joseph Smith, and Jamie Smith were involved with others in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Elder was a methamphetamine cook. The Smiths and others provided Elder with pseudoephedrine for the production of methamphetamine. Joseph Smith also allowed co-defendant Herman Sims, Jr., to manufacture methamphetamine at the Smiths’ Pinckneyville residence. At the sentencing hearing, the district judge found that Elder was responsible for the possession of 206.56 grams of pseudoephedrine and that the Smiths were responsible for the possession of 157.6 grams of pseudoephedrine. Co-defendants Sims and Jamie Trzinski have previously been sentenced to 84 months and 57 months, respectively, for their roles in the methamphetamine conspiracy.
The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Perry County Drug Task Force, Murphysboro Police Department, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, and DuQuoin Police Department. The Pinckneyville Police Department and Illinois State Police Methamphetamine Response Team assisted in the investigation.
The case was assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.