Sample Block

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Southern District of Illinois

For Immediate Release

July 12, 2012

Stephen R. Wiggington, United States Attorney

Contact: James L. Porter
(618) 628-3700

East St. Louis Man Sentenced for Crack Possession and Firearm Offense

James T. Keel, 45, from East. St. Louis, IL, was sentenced on July 12, 2012, in District Court in East St. Louis, IL, on one count Possession with Intent to Distribute over 28 grams of crack cocaine, and one count Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Previously Convicted Felon, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Keel was sentenced to 70 months in prison, four years of supervised release, a $500 fine and ordered to pay a $200 special assessment. He also forfeited the firearm.

Court proceedings revealed that on July 31, 2011, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Keel in East St. Louis, Illinois, for failure to use a turn signal and running a stop sign. After officers noticed Keel attempting to reach into the center console of the vehicle, they sought consent to search the vehicle. During the search, an officer lifted the lid off of the broken center console and discovered a loaded pistol, a large bag of crack cocaine, and several small bags of powder cocaine and cannabis. Illinois State Police lab analysis revealed the substance recovered from the larger bag to contain approximately 35 grams of cocaine base, in the form of crack cocaine.

Following Keel's arrest, he was advised of his Miranda rights and interviewed. Keel admitted that had knowingly possessed and handled the bag of crack cocaine, as well as the firearms recovered from the center console of his vehicle. Keel further advised law enforcement officers that he was a convicted felon and aware that he was not permitted to legally possess a firearm.

This case was investigated by the ATF, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel T. Kapsak.