On Thursday, it was announced by U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler that Palmer resident, Brandon Wayne Moen was sentenced in U.S. District Court.
Judge Timothy Burgess sentenced 28-year-old Moen to eight years in prison for possession of Methamphetamine and Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. He must also be on supervised release for five years after being released from prison.
Moen was arrested in June of 2012 on a warrant for alleged felony violations. When he was placed under arrest at that time, he was found to be in possession of a loaded Ruger .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol. He also had $2,599 in cash on his person.
After is arrest, Moen’s vehicle was impounded and a drug-sniffing dog was brought in to check the vehicle. The dog was alerted to the scent of drugs in the vehicle and a search warrant was applied for and granted. The vehicle was subsequently searched. Troopers found and seized various items from the vehicle, including methamphetamine, a bulletproof vest, syringes, hundreds of unused gram-sized baggies used for distributing narcotics, four grams of heroin, a digital scale, a pistol magazine, ammunition, and a tattoo gun. DEA laboratory testing determined that the methamphetamine he possessed was 99.4% pure.
According to an April 6, 2008, Central Illinois sports article, Moen was an elite athlete whose talent could not be “fully appreciated by a review of his stellar times and margins of victory.” Moen’s long-term goal was to break the 1:05:00 half marathon mark and qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trial Marathon. Moen was piling up marathon victories at that time and running 80 to 90 miles a week.
Moen’s attorney, Assistant Federal Defender Jamie McGrady pointed out to the court that Moen turned to drugs after the suicide of his brother. McGrady told the court, “Mr. Moen can serve as a cautionary tale to others in prison and working on sobriety – his was a rare talent, and it was wasted because of his drug abuse.” During Moen’s sentencing hearing McGrady said that Moen’s arrest probably saved his life.
“Although Mr. Moen has a chance to rebuild his life,” U.S. Attorney Loeffler notes, “the destruction and waste of enormous talent caused by using drugsis sad and cannot be undone. While our entire community as a whole suffers from the corrosive harm caused by illegal narcotics, Mr. Moen is yet another reminder that the harm and resulting consequences occur at a very tangible individual and personal level.”