Semi-truck driver sentenced on federal drug trafficking charge

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A truck driver from Fort Worth, Texas, appeared in federal court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to transporting narcotics across the country.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois said Ledaniel Russell, 50, admitted hauling nearly 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine through southern Illinois.

Russell was arrested in Madison County on Sept. 15, 2022. The Illinois State Police pulled Russell over along Interstate 70.

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State troopers searched Russell’s tractor trailer and found two large duffel bags containing a kilogram of cocaine, 4.5 kilograms of fentanyl, almost 32 kilograms of meth, and nearly two kilos of cocaine.

Russell admitted he was supposed to deliver the drugs to a destination in Michigan.

Russell received a 12-year prison sentence from a U.S. district court judge, followed by five years of supervised release.


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