Drug Enforcement Administration

St. Louis

William J. Callahan, Special Agent in Charge

July 11, 2011

Contact: SA John Leonard

Phone Number: 314-538-4600

Marion Man Pleads Guilty To Crack Cocaine Conspiracy

BENTON, IL. - Stephen R. Wigginton, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that a Marion, IL, man pled guilty on July 7, 2011, in Federal District Court in Benton, IL, to Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine.

Melvin Willis, a/k/a “Snobs,” 35, of Marion, pled guilty to a one-count indictment charging Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine. Because Willis has a prior felony drug conviction, his offense, at sentencing, carries a potential penalty of 20 years to life in prison, a fine of up to $8,000,000 and 10 years’ supervised release. The offense occurred between 2008 and June 19, 2010, in Jackson and Williamson Counties. Evidence offered at the plea hearing established that Willis was involved with others in the distribution of crack cocaine in the Herrin, Marion, Carbondale, and Murphysboro areas. Willis, who sometimes carried a gun during drug transactions, admitted that he was responsible for the distribution of at least 196 grams of crack cocaine. Willis is being held without bond pending his October 28, 2011, sentencing hearing.

The investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Murphysboro Police Department, and the Marion Police Department.

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