News Release
February 12, 2009
Contact: Thomas E. Murphy
(314) 538-4660

Carbondale Illinois Man Sentenced for Marijuana Conspiracy

FEB 12 -- (EAST ST. LOUIS, IL) - A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on February 9, 2009, KERRY L. SMITH , age 37, of Carbondale, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois.

SMITH , who had previously pled guilty to a five-count superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute marihuana, engaging in an unlawful monetary transaction, concealment of material information from the Social Security Administration, and making a false statement (2 counts), was sentenced to 92 months’ imprisonment, 4 years’ supervised release, and was ordered to pay a $500 assessment. SMITH was also ordered to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration and the Illinois Department of Human Services in the amount of $41,802. Additionally, SMITH was ordered to forfeit seven Carbondale residences, two vehicles, $10,576.03 cash, and other personal property to the United States.

The written Stipulation of Facts entered into by the parties at the time of SMITH ’s guilty plea established that, from at least May 2001, through February 2007, SMITH was involved with others in the distribution of marihuana in the Jackson County area. SMITH acquired certain properties and assets as a result of the marihuana distribution. On December 6, 2007, SMITH used over $12,000 in marihuana proceeds to purchase a 1998 Chevrolet Corvette. SMITH concealed certain information from the Social Security Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, including information that SMITH was working and was acquiring real estate and other assets, in order to collect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and food stamps.

The investigation was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation and was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Division, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services - Office of Inspector General, Murphysboro Police Department, United States Marshals Service, Illinois Department of Corrections - Southern Region Intel Unit, and Drug Enforcement Administration. The Union County Sheriff’s Office, Southern Illinois Enforcement Group, and Carbondale Police Department also participated in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda A. Robertson and Michael Thompson.