United States Attorney's Office for the Central District of Illinois

11/19/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/19/2021 12:05

East Peoria Ice Methamphetamine Dealer Sentenced to Fifteen Years in Prison

PEORIA, Ill. -Joshua A. Ward, 35, of East Peoria, Illinois, was sentenced on November 18, 2021, to 15 years in federal prison, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release, for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

Ward, who pleaded guilty on March 25, 2021, admitted that he possessed and sold methamphetamine to others on several occasions from July to September 2020. Ward was also found with ice methamphetamine packaged for resale and digital scales at the time of his arrest in September 2020. Evidence presented in court at sentencing showed that Ward's methamphetamine was the highly pure methamphetamine, commonly referred to as "ice" methamphetamine.

During sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid noted that Ward had a poor upbringing but that his criminal history placed Ward in the position he was in.

"Our ongoing focus to disrupt and deter ice methamphetamine dealers is working," said Acting U.S. Attorney Douglas J. Quivey. "This case is an excellent example of how the Drug Enforcement Administration can enhance the efforts of our state and local departments to target those at the top."

Ward has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since his arrest in September 2020. The Drug Enforcement Administration and Pekin Police Department investigated this case, with assistance of the Tazewell County Sheriff's Office and Illinois State Police's West Central Illinois Task Force and Peoria Multi-County Enforcement Group. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Legge represented the government in the prosecution.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF)'s National Methamphetamine Strategic Initiative, spearheaded locally out of the Pekin Police Department. The primary goal of this initiative is to address methamphetamine trafficking and its attendant consequences by using a coordinated, multi-agency approach targeting the highest levels of drug trafficking leadership. OCDETF 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 OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.