Galva Man Sentenced to 15 years in Prison for Possession of Ice Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute

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

PEORIA, Ill. – A Galva, Illinois, man, Justin W. Collins, 42, of the 100 block of SE Eighth Street, was sentenced on April 18, 2022, to 180 months’ imprisonment for possession of ice methamphetamine with intent to distribute, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release. In addition, Collins was sentenced to 30 months prison for violating the terms of his supervised release at the time of this offense, to be served concurrently in case number 10-CR-40053. 

The government presented evidence that on June 29, 2020, Collins purchased methamphetamine in the Peoria, Illinois, area and then drove directly to the Wal-Mart in Kewanee, Illinois, and entered the store. Kewanee Police requested their K-9 unit respond to the Wal-Mart, and upon arrival, the dog alerted to the presence of narcotics during a free air sniff of Collins’ truck. During a subsequent search, officers discovered a black glove containing ice methamphetamine hidden in the engine compartment of the truck. The methamphetamine was analyzed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s North Central Laboratory and determined to be 83.3 grams of 98% pure methamphetamine. Evidence also revealed Collins was planning to distribute the methamphetamine to others after he purchased it.

Also at the hearing, U.S. District Judge Joe B. McDade noted that at the time of this offense in June 2020, Collins was already serving a term of supervised release for a prior federal methamphetamine trafficking offense from 2010. The government presented evidence that after Collins’ arrest on this case, law enforcement discovered that Collins and another federal supervised release offender were attempting to evade drug testing even though they had continued to use narcotics while on supervision. Judge McDade recommended Collins receive drug treatment while in the Bureau of Prisons noting that his prior treatment efforts were not effective.

Collins was indicted in October 2021 and pleaded guilty in December 2021. He has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since his indictment.

The statutory penalties for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute are a minimum of 10 years to life imprisonment and not less than five years of supervised release. Since Collins had a prior qualifying conviction, he faced not less than 15 years to life imprisonment, and not less than 10 years of supervised release upon completion of his imprisonment.

“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of all law enforcement involved, we were able to stop yet another drug dealer from distributing this poison into our rural communities,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine G. Legge. “Methamphetamine is highly addictive and destructive to families in our communities, both to the dealer, like Collins, and every user he sold to and their families, employers, and towns alike. This sentence should serve as a message that if you get into the large-scale business of trafficking drugs, you will be held accountable.”

The investigation was a joint effort between the Blackhawk Area Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Peoria, Pekin, and Kewanee Police Departments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Legge represented the government in the prosecution, with assistance of the Henry County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The case against Collins 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.