Comments Off on Eleven southern Illinois residents indicted in methamphetamine conspiracy

Benton, Ill. —

Eleven southern Illinois residents were indicted on May 3 for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced Tuesday.

They were identified as Eddie O. Allen III, 33, Heidi R. Libbert, 29, Harry R. Libbert Jr., 32, Charles A. “Spot” Williams, 31, and Samantha A. Johnson, 35, all of Grand Tower, Joshua G. Taylor, 32, and Christopher R. Davenport, 27, both of Murphysboro, Franklin S. “Frankie D.” Denault, 33, of Ava, and Justin L. Stokes, 30, of Anna. All recently appeared in federal court in Benton on the one-count second superseding indictment charging conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine.

Two additional co-defendants, Rodney D. Phelps, 39, of Grand Tower, and Geoffrey A. Phelps, 31, of Marion, are currently fugitives.

The conspiracy offense occurred between 2009 and April 6, 2011, in Jackson, Union, Randolph and Williamson counties. The offense carries a penalty of a term of imprisonment from 10 years to life, a fine of not more than $10 million and a term of supervised release of at least 5 years.

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, Murphysboro Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration. The investigation is being conducted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods DRAGUN Team Initiative, a cooperative effort of local, state, and federal law enforcement, and state and federal prosecuting authorities, aimed at ridding communities of illegal drugs and guns. The Jackson County State’s Attorney’s Office also assisted during the investigation.

The case is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda A. Robertson for prosecution.

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