PEORIA, Illinois – Joshua A. Ward, 35, of East Peoria, Illinois, was sentenced to 15 years federal prison followed by 10 years of supervised release on November 18, 2021 for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute it to 15 years federal prison.
Ward, who pleaded guilty on March 25, 2021, admitted holding and selling methamphetamine multiple times from July to September 2020. Ward was also found with packaged for resale methamphetamineis and digital scales at the time of his arrest in September 2020. Evidence presented in court at the time of his conviction showed that Ward’s methamphetamine was the high purity methamphetamine commonly known as “ice” methamphetamine.
During the sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid found Ward had a poor upbringing, but his criminal history placed Ward in the position he found himself in.
“Our ongoing focus on disrupting and deterring methamphetamine ice cream dealers is working,” said acting US Attorney Douglas J. Quivey. “This case is a great example of how the Drug Enforcement Administration can step up efforts by our state and local departments to target the top talent.”
Ward has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since his arrest in September 2020. The Drug Enforcement Administration and Beijing Police Department are investigating this case with the assistance of the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office and the West Central Illinois Task Force of the Illinois State Police and Peoria Multi-County Enforcement Group. U.S. Assistant Attorney Katherine Legge represented the government on the indictment.
This case is part of the National Strategic Initiative on Methamphetamine of an Organized Crime Task Forces (OCDETF) led locally by the Beijing Police Department. The main objective of this initiative is to address the methamphetamine trafficking and its consequences through a coordinated, cross-agency approach targeting the highest levels of drug trafficking leadership. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the top criminal organizations threatening the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence, and inter-agency approach. More information about the OCDETF program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.