The leader of a methamphetamine trafficking ring in the Metro East has been sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison.
Federal prosecutors in a news release said 40-year-old Jeffery Taylor pleaded guilty to multiple drug crimes. Those include conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, distribution of cocaine, distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, attempted possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and money laundering.
“The defendant was responsible for bringing significant quantities of illicit, destructive narcotics across state lines and into southern Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “This sentence demonstrates the severity of drug trafficking, and I applaud DEA’s efforts for bringing these offenders to justice.”
DEA investigated the drug trafficking ring from February 2017 to August 2018 in Madison and St. Clair counties, primarily in East St. Louis, according to the release. The conspiracy involved at least 240 pounds of ice methamphetamine and 48 kilograms of cocaine.
According to court documents, Taylor ran operations in the drug organization, recruited members for illegal activities and provided direction. Sixteen co-defendants were also indicted in the conspiracy to various drug charges and have been sentenced from time served and supervised release up to 262 months in federal prison.
“This sentence concludes an investigation that perfectly represents DEA’s mission,” said Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael E. Rehg, head of Drug Enforcement Administration enforcement operations in southern Illinois. “We want the entire criminal drug organization, from the dealers to the highest level of distribution leadership, off our streets. Jeffrey Taylor and his entire network will not be putting his illegal products in our communities any longer.”
Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration led the investigation with contributions from the IRS, the Illinois State Police and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Fischer is prosecuting the case.
“Drug traffickers are in business to make money. IRS CI special agents have an important role in following the money and disrupting a drug trafficking organization’s ability to operate,” said Special Agent in Charge Thomas F. Murdock, St. Louis Field Office. “This sentence is a victory for communities in southern Illinois and metropolitan St. Louis. We are proud to work alongside our law enforcement partners on this important mission.”