(BENTON, IL) — Thomas Gregory Lilley, 36, of Fontana, California, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Benton to 14 years in prison for possessing with intent to distribute ½ ounce of highly pure methamphetamine (commonly known as “crystal” or “ice”) and possessing a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, announced Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. Evidence introduced in support of the guilty plea and sentence showed that in April 2014, Lilley followed his estranged wife from California to Wayne County where she had obtained a restraining order against him. Lilley violated that restraining order on April 23rd and upon his arrest by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department he was found to be in possession of ½ ounce of methamphetamine and a loaded 7.65 mm caliber pistol. The methamphetamine was concealed in the wheel well of his car and the firearm was hidden in the vehicle’s air breather. Lilley admitted that he brought the methamphetamine from California intending to sell it to others and that he possessed the firearm for protection. Laboratory tests conducted by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration showed that the methamphetamine was 100% pure. In addition to the 14 year prison sentence, Lilley was ordered to pay fines and special assessments totaling $400 to the United States, was placed on a 3 year term of supervised release to follow his incarceration, and was ordered to forfeit the firearm to the United States for destruction. Following his sentencing, Lilley was returned to the custody of the United States Marshal, where has been held without bond since his arrest on the federal charges in May, to await designation to a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility. The case was investigated by the Carmi office of the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of the DEA. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.

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