EFFINGHAM — A Hidalgo man has been charged with possessing over 100 grams of methamphetamine.

Jeremy R. Snell, 44, was arraigned Tuesday in Effingham County Circuit Court. Snell is charged with possession of more than 100 grams but less than 400 grams of methamphetamine, a Class X felony.

Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler said he is awaiting a more precise measurement of the substance from the state lab. This measurement may lead to a super Class X felony charge should the amount of methamphetamine reach over 400 grams.

Judge Jeff DeLong said the simple Class X felony charge of possession of more than 100 grams but less than 400 grams carries with it a possible penalty of six to 30 years, followed by up to three years of mandatory supervised release.

If the Class X felony is taken to the super level, the maximum jail sentence could go up to 60 years.

DeLong requested probable cause for the case from Kibler.

Kibler said deputies were dispatched to Dieterich over the weekend, where the caller said a man was passed out at the wheel of a car parked in their drive lane. The caller said they could not wake the man, who was later identified as Snell.

Authorities determined Snell was under the influence of drugs and also found in the back of his vehicle two full mason jars of liquid containing methamphetamine along with methamphetamine-making materials.

Kibler said authorities when weighing the methamphetamine, they subtracted the weight of the mason jars, finding the methamphetamine itself to weigh 132 grams.

Kibler said Snell is currently on parole for a Class 2 felony meth-related charge in another county and had just finished serving five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He requested Snell’s bond be set at $200,000 with conditions of no drug or alcohol consumption.

Kibler noted that the Virginia Pretrial Risk Assessment found Snell to be at high risk of not showing up for his hearings. The assessment is an objective research-based instrument that assists pretrial services officers in identifying a defendant’s level of risk of failure appear if released pending trial.

Public Defender Janet Fowler was appointed to represent Snell. Fowler said Snell is the primary caregiver for his children and is employed full time.

She said despite Snell’s criminal history, he has no history of failing to show up for his court hearings. She noted that a bulk of Snell’s criminal history has some age to it.

Fowler said because of these factors, she requested Snell’s bond be set at $50,000, of which Snell would pay $5,000, or 10 percent, to obtain his release.

DeLong said what Snell has going for him is that he has a job. However, DeLong said his main issues were that Snell was on parole for other cases, has a criminal history and a high-risk assessment for possibly failing to appear in court.

DeLong set Snell’s bond at $150,000 of which Snell would pay $15,000, or 10 percent, to obtain his release.

Snell due next in court at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, for his first appearance with counsel.


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