PEORIA, Illinois – Robert J. Bell, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-Chicago Division, and U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Harris of the Central District of Illinois announced that Donna N. Mark, 39, of Peoria , Illinois, was sentenced on January 20, 2022 to 168 months in prison (14 years), followed by five years of probation, for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The Court also ordered the forfeiture of $21,578.95 seized at the time of the arrest.
During Mark’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid said Mark was “one of the most prolific drug dealers”, noting that she was arrested with over $21,000 and nine pounds of icy methamphetamine destined for communities in central Illinois. The judge weighed the substantial amount of methamphetamine found against Mark’s relatively short criminal history and positive upbringing. The judge noted that although Mark struggled with drug addiction during her thirties, the amount of drugs and money she possessed showed she was a drug dealer of “extraordinary” proportions.
During the hearing, the government explained that Mark’s criminal conduct took place on March 2, 2021 when an officer from the Morton Police Department was conducting warrant checks at the OYO Hotel in Morton, Illinois. . Mark provided a false name to the police, who eventually contacted her and two other people she had sold drugs to. The investigation revealed that Mark had attempted to change hotel rooms and stashed packs of ice-cold methamphetamine in the toilet tank of the hotel room after giving the false name to the police. In total, law enforcement seized 8.2 pounds of ice-cold methamphetamine from the toilet tank, an additional 818 grams of ice-cold methamphetamine, $21,578.95 in US currency, drug paraphernalia, 71.3 grams of psilocybin mushrooms and a small amount of heroin and THC wax. Analysis by the DEA lab indicated that the meth seized from Mark was 99% pure meth.
“This case is the result of the excellent work and cooperation of the Morton Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration in keeping this highly addictive drug off the streets of Tazewell and surrounding counties,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine G Legge. “This very potent and readily available drug brings out the worst in people and wreaks havoc in our communities. Our goal of keeping communities safe by disrupting drug traffickers at the top of the food chain will continue.
According to public records, Mark was on probation in Tazewell County for two methamphetamine-related crimes at the time of this offense and had an active warrant at the time.
Mark was charged in March 2021 and pleaded guilty in August 2021. Mark has remained in the custody of US Marshals since his arrest on March 2, 2021.
The legal penalties for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in this case were not less than ten years and up to a sentence of life imprisonment, a sentence of supervised release of five years to life and a fine of up to up to $10 million.
The Morton Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case, with assistance from the Tazewell County State’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine G. Legge represented the government in the prosecution.
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.