Area Law Enforcement agencies joined forces to conduct targeted enforcement of narcotics distribution in and around the Effingham area.

The Effingham Police Department and the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, working in conjunction with Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force, Illinois State Police, United States Marshals Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigations Task Force, conducted investigations regarding numerous alleged dealers of methamphetamine (Schedule II Controlled Substance), heroin (Schedule I Controlled Substance), and other controlled substances such as illegally obtained prescription narcotics. The information discovered during this investigation, along with other ongoing investigations, was presented to the Effingham County State’s Attorney’s Office and the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois for prosecution. The following indictments were obtained:

Kyle W. Sinkler, 30, Mason

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Kyle W. Sinkler

Count 1: Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Heroin

50 grams or more of methamphetamine; or 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine

Kristen A. Hodge, 34, Effingham

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Kristen A. Hodge

Count 1: Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Heroin

50 grams or more of methamphetamine; or 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine

Count 2: Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

50 grams or more of methamphetamine

Michael R. Whitaker, 32, Shumway

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Michael R. Whitaker

Count 1: Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Heroin

50 grams or more of methamphetamine; or 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine

Count 3: Distribution of Methamphetamine

Maurice A. Thompson, 30, Danville

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Maurice A. Thompson

Count 1: Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine and Heroin

50 grams or more of methamphetamine; or 500 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing methamphetamine

Count 4: Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine

50 grams or more of methamphetamine

The maximum statutory penalties for these four counts are:

Count 1: 10 years to life imprisonment; at least five years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $10 million.

Count 2: Five to 40 years imprisonment; at least four years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $5 million.

Count 3: Up to 20 years imprisonment; at least three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $1 million.

Count 4: Five to 40 years imprisonment; at least four years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $5 million.

The agencies targeted narcotic dealers and suppliers by working together and combining intel, resources and manpower. In addition to the federal indictments, six other individuals were charged in Effingham County for various narcotics delivery charges as a result of the directed operation:

David K. Gray, 44, Wheeler

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David K. Gray

• Conspiracy to Deliver 5-15 grams Methamphetamine – Class 1 Felony

• 2 Counts – Delivery of

• Conspiracy to Deliver

Alexandar W. Gray II.png

Alexandar W. Gray II

Alexandar W. Gray II, 24, Effingham

• Delivery 5-15 grams Methamphetamine – Class 1 Felony

• Delivery

Austin A. Parker, 18, Effingham

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Austin A. Parker

• Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Class 3 Felony

• Delivery 5-15 grams Methamphetamine – Class 1 Felony

Mitchell D. Tuttle, 22, Stewardson

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Mitchell D. Tuttle

• 2 Counts – Delivery

Joshua D. Mayberry, 28, Effingham

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Joshua D. Mayberry

• 2 Counts – Delivery

• Delivery of a Controlled Substance – Class 3 Felony

Alexa J. Feldhake, 23, Neoga

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Alexa J. Feldhake

• Delivery 5-15 grams Methamphetamine – Class 1 Felony

• 2 Counts – Delivery

The maximum statutory penalties for these felonies in Illinois are:

Class 1 Felony: Four to 15 years imprisonment; two years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $25,000.

Class 2 Felony: Three to seven years imprisonment; two years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $25,000.

Class 3 Felony: Two to five years imprisonment; one year of supervised release, and a fine of up to $25,000.

Effingham County Sheriff Dave Mahon noted, “Having one of our sheriff’s deputies permanently assigned to the Southeastern Illinois Drug Task Force has afforded the city and the county the ability to follow these drug dealers outside our jurisdiction to help stop the flow of illegal narcotics into our community.”

Effingham Police Chief Jason McFarland detailed the focus to get narcotics off the streets, stating, “Investigating and arresting narcotics dealers is a priority for the Effingham Police Department. We are aggressive in seeking out dealers and working with other agencies to meet our goal of getting those dealers off the streets. The hard work and joint effort that occurred between all agencies paid off with tremendous results. I am very proud of the work of all the personnel who contributed to this effort.”

Drug users were not the focus of these operations; Effingham Police Department and Effingham County Sheriff’s Office desire that individuals addicted to illegal narcotics and illegally abused prescription medicine seek and receive treatment to overcome their addictions.

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