Rockford, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A Rockford, Illinois man was sentenced February 7 in federal court on drug conspiracy charges. Steven T. McDowell, 38, of Rockford, also known as “Ty,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Kapala to 315 months in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin and ordered to serve five years of supervised release following his imprisonment. McDowell was convicted on June 14, 2012, after a nine-day jury trial in U.S . District Court in Rockford, of one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin and six counts of distribution of heroin.
According to the indictment and evidence at trial, McDowell was the leader of an illegal drug trafficking operation in Rockford. Beginning as early as April 2010 and continuing into December 2010, the conspirators obtained large amounts of heroin from Chicago, transported the heroin to Rockford where it was diluted for resale and packaged in smaller zip lock bags or baggies for individual use, then grouped into packs. The defendants used runners to distribute street-level quantities of heroin at numerous locations in Rockford. McDowell and other co-conspirators rented cars that were used to deliver heroin to their street-level dealers, and used cell phones to notify runners where to go to distribute heroin to a customer or for when a runner needed to be resupplied or have money picked up. Some of the co-conspirators used or possessed firearms for protection during their operations.
Two other Chicago men were also convicted on June 14, 2012, after the jury trial for their roles in the drug conspiracy:
Jeremy Cooper, 24, also known as “J.D.,” was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin, three counts of distribution of heroin, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Cooper was sentenced on September 18, 2012, to 270 months in federal prison, and five years of supervised release following his imprisonment.
Robert Presley, 33, also known as “Munchie,” was convicted of conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin, one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drugtrafficking crime, and two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Presley is awaiting sentencing.
In addition, two other men pled guilty to their involvement in the conspiracy: Murray Steve Harris, Jr., 36, of Chicago, also known as “M,” pled guilty on January 19, 2012, to conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin and was sentenced on April 19, 2012, to 130 months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release following his imprisonment. Norman Breedlove, 47, of Rockford, also known as “Way,” pled guilty on May 24, 2012, to one count of conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and is awaiting sentencing.
The sentencing was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Richard Meyers, Winnebago County Sheriff; and Chet Epperson, Chief of the Rockford Police Department.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark T. Karner.