FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS — An Altamont man has pleaded guilty in federal court to distributing a drug that some drug users have adopted as a methamphetamine substitute.

U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton said in a news release that Ricky T. Garner, 46, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal indictment charging him with possession of alpha-PVP with intent to distribute.

Also known as flakka or gravel, alpha-PVP is a controlled substance with chemical qualities and effects similar to meth.

Wigginton said his office presented evidence that state troopers stopped Garner's truck near Beecher City Oct. 1. While Garner was originally detained because of outstanding warrants, police found 70 grams of alpha-PVP in the truck.

Garner has been continuously confined since his arrest in October. An Illinois State Police SWAT team led the investigation that resulted in Garner's arrest and conviction.

At his September sentencing hearing, Garner could face 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and no less than three years of supervised release.

 Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com, or on Twitter @EDNBGrimes.

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