Federal prosecutors in Texas have reported that a 44-year-old Illinois man was convicted on drug trafficking and weapons charges on April 29 after a four-day trial. The Chicago native could be sent to prison for life when he is sentenced. His sentencing hearing will be scheduled once the U.S. Probation Office has completed a presentence investigation. Another individual who was taken into custody with the man in September 2017 was sentenced to 94 months in a federal prison on drug possession charges after entering into a plea agreement with U.S. attorneys.
The sequence of events that led to the man's conviction began when a vehicle he was traveling in was pulled over by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers in Titus County for a marked lane violation. During the vehicle stop, the man is said to have fled on foot while his passenger got behind the wheel and left the scene. The vehicle was later disabled in Bowie County after deputies laid spike strips in the roadway. The man was apprehended as he walked down a nearby rural road.
A subsequent search of the vehicle allegedly led to the discovery of 75 grams of a substance that was later identified as methamphetamine, 1 gram of heroin, a set of digital scales and a loaded handgun. The man was charged with possessing illegal narcotics with the intent to distribute and being a convicted felon in possession of a gun.
The facts of this case reveal that federal prosecutors are often willing to reduce the penalties for serious drug crimes significantly to avoid the risks of a jury trial. This case also shows that those who choose to have their day in court could pay a heavy price. When the evidence against individuals facing federal narcotics charges is strong, criminal defense attorneys may suggest entering into a plea agreement if the offer made by U.S. attorneys is fair.Source: KLTV, Chicago man faces up to life in prison for trafficking drugs in East Texas, Christian Terry, April 29, 2019