PEORIA, Ill. –A Pekin, Illinois, man, Sean E. Ward, 49, of the 2200 block of Court Street, was sentenced on March 22, 2022, to six-and-a-half years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for distribution of methamphetamine.
At Ward’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid found that Ward was responsible for distributing approximately 246.2 grams of methamphetamine. Judge Shadid noted that Ward’s criminal history was separated by periods of sobriety and that Ward appeared committed to working on his substance abuse and mental health issues.
At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Ward sold ice methamphetamine on three different occasions in the summer of 2021; the largest identified sale was 110.5 grams of pure methamphetamine, as confirmed by the Drug Enforcement Administration laboratory results.
Ward was indicted in August 2021 and pleaded guilty in October 2021. Ward has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since his arrest but was permitted to attend residential substance abuse treatment prior to his sentencing.
The statutory penalties for distribution of methamphetamine are not less than ten years and up to life imprisonment, not more than a $10 million dollar fine, and a minimum five-year to a maximum life term of supervised release. Ward was eligible for a lower sentence because he was sentenced pursuant to the “safety-valve” provision of 18 U.S.C. §3553(f).
The Pekin Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine G. Legge represented the government in the prosecution, with assistance of the Tazewell County State’s Attorney’s Office.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF)’s National Methamphetamine Strategic Initiative, spearheaded locally out of the Pekin Police Department. The primary goal of this initiative is to address methamphetamine trafficking and its attendant consequences by using a coordinated, multi-agency approach targeting the highest levels of drug trafficking leadership. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF