A 33-year-old Illinois man who was facing 10 drug possession, manufacturing and delivery charges will not be spending any time behind bars. The Decatur resident was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to a single count of possessing a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. The plea and the sentence were part of deal negotiated between the man’s defense attorney and Macron County prosecutors. The man was also ordered to pay a fine of $1,150 and cover the costs of laboratory testing. The sentence was handed down on July 25 in Macron County Circuit Court.
The man’s legal problems began in August 2018 when officers from the City of Decatur Police Department observed him sitting outside a vacant home on West Marietta Street. Officers claim that the man seemed anxious and was clutching a backpack. A search of the backpack is said to have yielded 12.5 grams of cocaine and 197 pills that were later identified as ecstasy, amphetamines, alprazolam and Oxycodone.
Police also allegedly found a pair of cellphones, several plastic bags and two digital scales in the backpack. This led officers to conclude that the drugs had been packaged for sale. When officers searched the man’s pockets, they found cash totaling $480 in denominations consistent with low-level narcotics sales.
The resolution of this case reveals that prosecutors may be willing to reduce or dismiss even serious drug offenses in return for a speedy and successful outcome. When presented with a set of facts like these, experienced criminal defense attorneys may encourage prosecutors to be lenient by pointing out mitigating factors or questioning the legality of warrantless police searches.