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Chicago Man Sentenced to 90 Months on Heroin and Firearms Charges

JAN 27 (CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) – Cornelius Q. Hill, 29, of Chicago, was sentenced to 90 months in prison today by U.S. District Judge Travis R. McDonough for possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Hill pleaded guilty to these charges, contained in a federal indictment in October 2016.

According to information on file with the U.S. District Court, in August 2016, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agents seized approximately 40 grams of heroin and a loaded firearm from a hotel room Hill was using in Chattanooga.  Hill admitted the heroin and firearm were his and that he was sent to Chattanooga from Chicago to sell heroin for the Vice Lords, a violent street gang based in Chicago. 

Hill’s sentence reflected the danger and risk of harm his conduct posed to society.  The United States asked the court to impose a sentence that would deter future drug dealers from Chicago and elsewhere from traveling to the Eastern District of Tennessee to sell their drugs. 

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Hill was the result of an investigation conducted by the DEA.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Porter represented the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws.  It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crime face tough sentences.  PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on the individual challenges that a specific community faces. 

This case was a result of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s drug supply reduction strategy. OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at, and Also follow DEA Atlanta on Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv


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