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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of Illinois
Gregory K. Harris, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Peoria Man Sentenced to 152 Months in Prison for Possession of Cocaine With Intent To Distribute and Federal Firearm Offenses

PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Illinois, man, Daryl G. McGhee, 33, of the 6000 block of North Hamilton, was sentenced on December 16, 2022, to a total of 152 months in federal prison, to be followed by six years of supervised release. McGhee’s sentencing follows two separate jury trials in February 2021 and August 2022, resulting in convictions for drug trafficking and firearms offenses. Specifically, McGhee was sentenced to concurrent 92-month sentences for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm by a felon. Additionally, McGhee was sentenced to a 60-month term of imprisonment for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, to be served consecutively to the 92-month sentences.

At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that on February 13, 2021, Peoria Police were dispatched to McGhee’s residence at approximately 4:30 a.m. on a report of domestic violence. Upon arrival, police learned that McGhee had left the residence out the back door on foot in the bitter sub-zero temperatures and was in possession of a firearm. An officer then tracked McGhee’s footprints in the freshly fallen snow and located him crouched down and hiding in an evergreen bush several blocks from his home. McGhee was not wearing gloves or a winter coat. He was in possession of a cell phone and $381 cash. After McGhee was arrested, a Peoria Police K-9 unit was utilized to search the surrounding area and the service dog located a leather shoulder satchel concealed under a dumpster alongside McGhee’s footprints in the snow. The satchel contained 140 grams of cocaine and a 9mm semi-automatic DVC Tactical model 1911 handgun loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition. A round of ammunition was located in the chamber of the gun, indicating it was ready to be fired. The government also introduced an image from McGhee’s social media account where he was wearing the leather bag, as well as a video from social media where he was depicted brandishing the DVC 9mm handgun.

Also at the hearing, U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade found that McGhee’s offense and criminal history involving acts of violence and firearms reflected a lack of self-control and disrespect for the law and other people.

McGhee has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service throughout the pendency of the case. At sentencing, McGhee faced statutory penalties of up to 30 years’ imprisonment, a maximum $2,000,000 fine, and no less than six years of supervised release for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute; up to 10 years’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm as a felon; and not less than five years’ imprisonment for possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, to be served consecutively to any other sentences imposed.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners are committed to aggressively prosecuting armed drug traffickers that pose a threat to the safety of our communities,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna.

The case investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Peoria Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ronald L. Hanna and Douglas F. McMeyer represented the government at trial.

The case against McGhee is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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