Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • Arrests made in major drug bust in Herrin

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  • Two Herrin residents, formerly of Miami, were arrested Friday after more than four pounds of cocaine and five pounds of cannabis were recovered from their home on Herrin's west side.
    Leon S. Johnson, 40, and Connie L. Lewis, 36, were charged by Williamson County State's Attorney Brandon Zanotti with unlawful possession of a controlled substance. The charges are Class X felonies carrying with them possible sentences of up to 30 years in prison. Bond for both defendants was set at $500,000 each.
    "This is one of the largest cocaine busts in Williamson County in decades," Zanotti said. "This is a huge amount of illegal narcotics that are now off the streets. I cannot thank the law enforcement agencies involved enough for their excellent police work here."
    The Southern Illinois Enforcement Group (SIEG) led the investigation, which remains ongoing. The agency was assisted by the Williamson County Sheriff's Office SWAT team, Herrin Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration.
    A subsequent search warrant was executed at a separate Herrin location where further large amounts of both cocaine and cannabis were found.
    Zanotti said the estimated street value of the cocaine is in excess of $200,000.
    "That amount (four pounds) could conceivably have been distributed to hundreds, if not thousands, of people in this area, including into the hands of children."
    Both Johnson and Lewis are said to have extensive criminal histories in Florida, Zanotti said.
    Preliminary hearing in the case is set for 1:15 p.m. Nov. 21 in Courtroom 7 of the Williamson County Circuit Court.
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