An Edwardsville man was sentenced Wednesday to 9 years in federal prison for knowingly possessing with intent to distribute significant quantities of methamphetamine and heroin, U.S. Attorney Donald S. Boyce announced in a press release.
Jackie H. Townsend Jr., 38, pleaded guilty to the charge in June. In handing down the sentence, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan noted heroin has become more mainstream in recent years, while meth continues to ruin families.
“These are serious drugs, and assisting in their distribution is a serious offense,” Reagan said.
As part of his sentence, Townsend was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and to serve three years on supervised release.
The case against Townsend began Jan. 13, when inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service observed a suspicious Express Mail package at the USPS distribution center in Hazelwood, Mo. After a narcotics-trained dog alerted on the package, inspectors obtained a federal search warrant for the box and found it contained more than 2 kilograms of 96 percent pure methamphetamine (ice) and more than 500 grams of heroin. Roughly 2 pounds of marijuana were also inside. Agents repackaged the box and delivered it to the addressee at a hotel in Caseyville, Ill. The woman who received the package told investigators she had agreed to accept it on behalf of someone named “Paris” — a person later determined to be Townsend. After being advised that the package had arrived, Townsend drove to the hotel, took possession of the box and was promptly arrested.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, working with agents from the Illinois State Police-Metropolitan Enforcement Group Southern Illinois. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathan D. Stump prosecuted the case at sentencing.