Peoria Man Convicted of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute and Federal Firearm Offenses

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

PEORIA, Ill. – On August 10, 2022, a federal jury returned guilty verdicts against Daryl G. McGhee, 33, of the 6000 block of North Hamilton, in Peoria, Illinois, for the offenses of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. McGhee was previously convicted by a separate jury on November 3, 2021, of the offense of possession of a firearm as a felon, arising from the same conduct, all occurring on February 13, 2021.

Over the course of the three-day trial, the government presented evidence that on February 13, 2021, Peoria Police were dispatched to McGhee’s residence at approximately 4:30 a.m. on a report of domestic violence. Upon arrival, police learned that McGhee had left the residence out the back door on foot in the bitter sub-zero temperatures and was in possession of a firearm. An officer then tracked McGhee’s footprints in the freshly fallen snow and located him crouched down and hiding in an evergreen bush several blocks from his home. McGhee was not wearing a gloves or a winter coat. He was in possession of a cell phone and $381 cash. After McGhee was arrested, a Peoria Police K-9 unit was utilized to search the surrounding area and the service dog, “Tibo”, a Belgian Malinois, located a leather shoulder satchel concealed under a dumpster alongside McGhee’s footprints in the snow. The satchel contained 140 grams of cocaine and 9mm semi-automatic DVC Tactical model 1911 handgun loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition. A round of ammunition was located in the chamber of the gun, indicating it was ready to be fired. The government also introduced an image from McGhee’s social media account where he was wearing the leather bag, as well as a video from social media where he was depicted brandishing the DVC 9mm handgun.

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A federal grand jury indicted McGhee in March 2021 and returned a superseding indictment in September 2021. He was tried and convicted on the felon-in-possession-of-a-firearm charge in the superseding indictment on November 3, 2021.

McGhee remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. At sentencing, McGhee faces statutory penalties of up to 30 years’ imprisonment, a maximum $2,000,000 fine, and no less than six years of supervised release for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; up to 10 years’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm as a felon; and not less than five years’ imprisonment for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, to be served consecutively with other charges.

The case investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Peoria Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ronald L. Hanna and Douglas F. McMeyer represented the government at trial.

The case against McGhee is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.