PEORIA, Illinois – Peking, Illinois man Sean E. Ward, 49, of the 2200 block of Court Street, was sentenced March 22, 2022 to six and a half years in prison, to be followed by five years of probation, for distributing methamphetamine.

During Ward’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid found that Ward was responsible for distributing approximately 246.2 grams of methamphetamine. Judge Shadid noted that Ward’s criminal history was separated by periods of sobriety and that Ward seemed determined to work through his substance abuse and mental health issues.

At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Ward sold ice meth three times in the summer of 2021; the largest identified sale was 110.5 grams of pure methamphetamine, as confirmed by Drug Enforcement Administration lab results.

Ward was indicted in August 2021 and pleaded guilty in October 2021. Ward has been in the custody of US Marshals since his arrest, but was allowed to undergo residential drug treatment prior to his sentencing.

The legal penalties for methamphetamine distribution are no less than ten years and up to life imprisonment, no more than a fine of $10 million, and a minimum term of five years to a maximum term of supervised release. Ward was eligible for a lower sentence because he was convicted under the “safety valve” provision of 18 USC §3553(f).

The Beijing Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Katherine G. Legge represented the government in the prosecution, with assistance from the Tazewell County State’s Attorney’s Office.

This case is part of a national methamphetamine strategic initiative of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OECDTF), led locally by the Beijing Police Department. The primary objective of this initiative is to combat methamphetamine trafficking and its consequences using a coordinated, multi-agency approach targeting the highest levels of drug trafficking leadership. The OECDTF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OECDTF program is available at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF

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