Twelve charged in connection with local meth operation

By Denise Jackson

June 7, 2012 Updated Jun 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM CDT

HAVANA, Ill. -- Federal, local and state officials have charged a dozen people in connection with methamphetamine manufacturing and distribution in Central Illinois.

During a news conference Thursday in Havana, U.S. Attorney for the Central District Jim Lewis says the individuals were all working together to produce and distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine in Tazewell, Peoria, and Fulton counties. The activity happened over a two year period up to their recent arrests.

Nine of the 12 charged appeared in U.S Federal court Thursday afternoon. That includes Richard Knee, Coty Calloway, Donald Knee, Tisha Baughman, David Baughman, Bradley Lambert, Lacy Lambert, Andrew Knaak and Joshua Hampton.

"These are criminal enterprises. There's some organization, there are cooks there are people that get the ingredients through the cooks there are distributors," said U.S. Attorney for the Central District Jim Lewis.

Donald Knee suffered what some thought was a small seizure during his court appearance and was not able to enter a plea. The other eight all pleaded not guilty to the charges. Three others were still not in custody, Ronald Calloway, Johnathan Rakestraw and Alvin Baughman.

Judge John Gorman set a pre-trial hearing for July 26th and the cases are scheduled for trial August 13th. If convicted they each faces a minimum 10 years to life in prison plus $4 million in fines.

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