News Release
Date: June 29, 2010
Contact: Robert J. Hanson
Number: (314) 538-4670

Centralia, Illinois Woman Sentenced On Crack Cocaine Charges

JUN 29 -- (East St. Louis, IL) - A. Courtney Cox, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that VALENCIA K. MATTHEWS, age 26, of Centralia, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois. MATTHEWS was sentenced to 240 months (20 years) imprisonment, a $400 fine, and 10 years of supervised release.

MATTHEWS had previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine, which occurred between August 2008, to September 30, 2009, in Jefferson and Marion Counties. MATTHEWS also pleaded guilty to three counts of distribution of crack cocaine in Centralia, Illinois, which occurred on April 8, 2009, and April 14, 2009 (twice).

The investigation was conducted by the Centralia Police Department, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, the Joint Narcotics Unit of the Mt. Vernon Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Illinois State Police, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Marion County State’s Attorney’s Office, the United States Secret Service, and the United States Marshal Service, pursuant to their participation in the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a joint and cooperative effort of the United States Attorney’s Office, and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies directed at removing guns and drugs from our communities.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney George Norwood.