Heroin charges against Pekin man reminder of need for drug intervention

By Audrey Williams

March 1, 2013 Updated Mar 1, 2013 at 11:45 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- Law enforcement officials say federal heroin charges against a Pekin man are historic, and a sad reminder of the need for greater drug intervention in the community.

Anthony Mansini, 22, plead "not guilty" in federal court Thursday to 11-criminal felonies, including conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin and distribution of heroin resulting in three deaths.

The indictment says he distributed heroin on specific days. Those days correspond with the heroin overdose deaths of 21-year old James Reader, 21-year old Kyla Frost and 20-year-old Chanel Berardi.

Pekin Police Chief Greg Nelson said, since Mansini's arrest, Pekin has not seen another heroin overdose death.

Officials are warning residents that heroin is back in the area, and very dangerous.

"It has come back and there needs to be greater efforts within the community so that it isn't just law enforcement bringing the cases afterward; but we need to get treatment and more intervention earlier, so that we don't have these tragic situations," said Jim Lewis, U. S. Attorney for the Illinois Central District.

"Anyone paying the least bit of attention ought to know that we have a problem with heroin use and overdose deaths from heroin, not just in our community, it's not isolated." added Tazewell Co. State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz.

Mansini remains in custody of U.S. Marshals. A trial is scheduled for May 6th.