Tue. May 21st, 2024

Bloomington Couple Sentenced to Federal Prison for Receiving and Distributing Drugs Through the Postal Service

May 10, 2024

READ FULL ARTICLE AT » United States Department of Justice

PEORIA, Ill. – A Bloomington, Illinois husband and wife, Wesley Noonan, 50, and Christina Noonan, 44, of the 1900 block of East Taylor, were sentenced on May 8, 2024, to federal prison for conspiring to distribute, and possessing with intent to distribute, the fentanyl analogue, para-Fluorofentanyl. Christina Noonan was sentenced to 70 months’ imprisonment to be followed by a three-year term of supervised release. Wesley Noonan, whom the court found played a minor role in the conspiracy as compared to his wife, was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment. Wesley Noonan was also ordered to serve a five-year term of supervised release upon completion of his term of imprisonment.

At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that Christina and Wesley Noonan, acting together, unlawfully received and sent a wide variety of drugs using the United States Postal Service. Acting from their home in Bloomington, Illinois, they utilized a popular phone application to coordinate with an overseas source of supply to obtain parcels of pills that they then further distributed throughout the United States using the United States Postal Service. The Noonans distributed these substances for over a year until April 6, 2022, when federal and state authorities executed a search warrant at their residence and uncovered the distribution center in their family home. A distribution log revealed that Christina, acting with Wesley’s assistance, mailed over 1,750 parcels containing over 250,000 Schedule I, II, and IV pills to locations in all 50 states between February 2021 and April 2022.The shipments included parcels logged as Tramadol, Zolpidem, Cathinone, Adderall, Lorazepam, Hydrocodone, Percocet, and other substances.

Although the Noonans distributed a diverse spectrum of pills, the search warrant on their home yielded approximately 1,750 pills marked as Adderall, but which in fact tested positive as para-Fluorofentanyl, a Schedule I opioid analgesic analogue of fentanyl.

A federal complaint, followed by an indictment, were filed in July 2022. Christina Noonan pleaded guilty in August 2023, and Wesley Noonan pleaded guilty in November 2023.

The statutory penalties for conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute para-Fluorofentanyl are 10 years to life imprisonment, a possible $10,000,000 fine, followed by a minimum of 5 years of supervised release. At sentencing, both Christina and Wesley Noonan qualified for “safety valve” pursuant to 18 U.S.C. section 3553(f), which relieves certain drug trafficking offenders from statutory mandatory minimum sentences.

“This case demonstrates how illegal drug distribution is ever evolving and how law enforcement will use all available tools to counter it. It also shows why taking illegally obtained pills is extremely dangerous. As documented in DEA’s One Pill Can Kill campaign, an illegally obtained pill, often manufactured overseas, can appear to be one substance, like Adderall, and in fact be something very different and deadly like fentanyl,” explained Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Unit, which focuses on cases involving pharmaceutical controlled substances diverted from the legal chain of commerce to the illegal drug market, investigated this case in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Illinois State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald L. Hanna represented the government in the prosecution.

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