EAST ST. LOUIS — An East Alton man was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison Thursday, Nov. 13, for drug and money laundering offenses.
In a press release Friday, U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said Demarcus L. Freeman, 33, pleaded guilty Aug. 7 to federal charges of two counts of distribution of crack cocaine; one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine; and one count of money laundering.
At his change of plea hearing, Freeman admitted selling crack cocaine in Wood River on May 13, 2013, and again on June 4, 2013. Police stopped Freeman’s car on July 8, 2013, in Bethalto and seized 9 ounces of crack cocaine. Freeman admitted the cocaine in his car belonged to him.
Freeman also opened a credit union account in Wood River in the name of a relative. Freeman admitted laundering the proceeds of his drug dealing through the account, in an attempt to disguise the source of the money. Freeman laundered more than $60,000. The federal government seized about $10,010 from the account at the time of Freeman’s arrest. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has moved to forfeit the $10,000 as drug trafficking proceeds.
At Freeman’s sentence hearing on Nov. 13, U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. Reagan commented that “the 151-month sentence I have imposed is driven primarily by deterrence and the need to protect the public.” Reagan said Freeman is a “career offender” under applicable federal sentencing guidelines, and that Freeman has numerous prior felony convictions for dealing drugs and domestic battery.
The investigation which resulted in Freeman’s arrest and conviction was conducted by the Wood River Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert L. Garrison.