Galesburg Man Sentenced to Twenty Years in Federal Prison for Drug Trafficking and Unlawful Use of Firearms

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – A Galesburg, Illinois, man, Benjamin William Norville, 29, of the 500 block of Chambers Street, was sentenced on March 29, 2022, to an aggregate term of 240 months’ imprisonment following his convictions for possession with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of ice methamphetamine, possession of a firearm as a felon, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

At the sentencing hearing, the government established that Norville, an ice methamphetamine dealer, possessed two loaded and stolen firearms and several types of narcotics while passed out in a running vehicle. The government detailed Norville’s criminal history, noting that this was his seventh felony and sixth methamphetamine-related conviction.

Also at the hearing, Chief U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow found that Norville posed a high risk of recidivism and stated that his sentence needed to reflect the seriousness of his offense. Judge Darrow sentenced Norville to 180 months’ imprisonment for possession with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of ice methamphetamine and 120 months’ imprisonment for possession of a firearm as a felon, to run concurrently, and to be followed by a consecutive 60 months’ imprisonment for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. Judge Darrow imposed five-year terms of supervised release for the drug trafficking and felon-in-possession convictions and a three-year term of supervised release for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, all to run concurrently.

Norville pleaded guilty in August 2021.The statutory penalties for possession with intent to distribute at least 50 grams of actual methamphetamine include a mandatory minimum of ten years and up to life imprisonment, up to a $10 million fine, and at least five years and up to a life term of supervised release. The statutory penalties for possession of a firearm by a felon are up to ten years imprisonment, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to a three-year term of supervised release. The statutory penalties for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime are a mandatory minimum five years and up to life imprisonment, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed; up to a $250,000 fine; and up to a five-year term of supervised release.

“This case demonstrates what drug dealers can expect when they sell drugs and carry guns in our community,” said Assistant United States Attorney Alyssa Raya. “Our office commends the first responders called to this extremely volatile situation and their dedication to keeping the community safe.”

“Deadly drugs and deadly weapons fuel violence and suffering, casting a dark shadow over our communities,” said David Nanz, the Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Field Office. “In every case, the FBI and our law enforcement partners bring to bear the combined strength of our resources to track down criminals like Norville and protect our Illinois cities and towns. The significant sentence handed down today reflects our determination to combat and deter the distribution of narcotics and the illegal possession of weapons.”

The Galesburg Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Raya and Jennifer Mathew represented the government in the prosecution.