News Release
December 09, 2010
Contact: Robert J. Hanson
Number: (314) 538-4670

Carbondale Man Pleads Guilty to Crack Cocaine Conspiracy

DEC 09 - (BENTON, IL) - Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that on December 7, 2010, ESTON THOMAS, JR., age 19, of Carbondale, Illinois, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Benton, to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

The violation took place between May 2007 and April 9, 2010, in Jackson and Williamson
Counties. The offense carries a potential penalty of 10 years to life imprisonment, a fine of up to
$4,000,000 and a term of at least 5 years’ supervised release. THOMAS is currently being held without bond pending sentencing, which is currently scheduled for March 14, 2011. A co-defendant has previously pled guilty to his role in the crack cocaine conspiracy and is also awaiting sentencing.

The investigation was conducted by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Murphysboro Police
Department, and Drug Enforcement Administration, with the assistance of the Southern Illinois
Enforcement Group. In addition, the Jackson County States Attorney’s Office assisted during the
investigation. The investigation was conducted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, a cooperative effort of local, state, and federal law enforcement, and state and federal prosecuting authorities, aimed at ridding communities of illegal drugs and guns.