News Release
September 8, 2009
Contact: Thomas E. Murphy
(314) 538-4660

Two East St. Louis Men Sentenced in Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy Case

SEPT 8 -- (EAST ST. LOUIS, IL) - A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that, Recardo BONNER, age 39, and Vernon J. LOWERY, age 31, both of East St. Louis, Illinois, were sentenced in the U.S. District Court in East St. Louis on Friday, September 4, 2009, for conspiracy to distribute in excess of 1000 kilograms (2200 pounds) of marijuana.

BONNER was sentenced to 132 months imprisonment, an $875 fine, and 5 years of supervised release upon release from incarceration. LOWERY was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment, a $500 fine, and 4 years of supervised release upon release from incarceration.

BONNER pled guilty on May 26, 2009. LOWERY pled guilty on May 22, 2009. BONNER and LOWERY are among 14 defendants who have been convicted in the marijuana distribution scheme.

According to evidence presented when the two men entered guilty pleas, BONNER and LOWERY were part of a group that transported large shipments of Mexican marijuana from Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona to St. Louis, Missouri; East St. Louis, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia; and Lima, Ohio. At these locations, the marijuana was then divided and consigned to local distributors. After marijuana had been sold in these locations, the cash proceeds from the marijuana sales was transported back to Arizona. This marijuana distribution scheme operated between 2001 and mid - 2007.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Robert L. Garrison.