PEORIA – A federal jury returned a guilty verdict on September 30, 2021, against Deandre Smith, 34, of Danville, for carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sentencing for Smith has been set for January 10, 2022, at 10 a.m. at the U.S. Courthouse in Urbana.

Over two days of testimony, the government presented evidence to establish that in February 2020 law enforcement officers encountered Smith carrying a loaded handgun in his pocket and that Smith carried the handgun during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime he admitted committing on the same day. Evidence presented at trial showed that Smith had 23 foil packets of heroin on his person that he intended to distribute to others, as well as a digital scale and cash. The handgun was located in the same pocket as the digital scale.

Smith had earlier pleaded guilty to distribution of methamphetamine, distribution of controlled substances, possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Smith remains in the custody of the United States Marshal Service. At sentencing, Smith faces statutory penalties of five years to life imprisonment on the charge of carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. The sentence for this charge must run consecutively to any sentence he receives for the drug trafficking and possession of a firearm by a felon offenses. Smith faces a maximum sentence of 120 months’ imprisonment on the felon in possession charge and a maximum of 240 months’ imprisonment on the drug trafficking charges.

The case investigation was conducted by the Danville Police Department, the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Vermilion County Metropolitan Enforcement Group. Special assistance for trial was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bryan Freres and William Lynch represented the government at trial, with assistance from the Vermilion County State’s Attorney’s Office.

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