Union County State's Attorney's Office

Anna Man Sentenced to Prison for Failure to Register as Sex Offender

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 24, 2018

Anna Man Sentenced to Prison for Failure to Register as Sex Offender

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Randy Allen Otten (DOB 10-30-1981) of Anna has been sentenced to three (3) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections on one (1) count of Failure to Report Change of Address regarding sex offender registration, a Class 2 Felony.  He will also serve a two (2) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly known as Parole).  Otten moved into an Anna residence in November 2017 and failed to update his sex offender registration with local law enforcement.  This is Otten’s second violation of the Sex Offender Registration Act.  The case was investigated by the Anna Police Department

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

###

State’s Attorney Releases 2017 Annual Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 23, 2018

State’s Attorney Releases 2017 Annual Report

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today the release of the State’s Attorney’s Office 2017 Annual Report.  Highlights of the report include:

  • 3980 total cases filed; 307 felonies filed; 47 sentenced to Prison
  • Collected over $285,000 in fines and fees from criminal defendants including over $68,000 in restitution to crime victims
  • Provided services and assistance to 767 crime victims
  • Office expenditures almost $5,000 under budget

The report also includes a variety of information regarding case filings and outlines the structure, staffing and funding of the office.  The Annual Report may be accessed in PDF format on the Union County State’s Attorney website at www.unioncountyil.gov/sa

A copy of the Annual Report is attached to this release. 

State’s Attorney calls for Funding of Kids’ Programs to Prevent Crime

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 20, 2017

State’s Attorney calls for Funding of Kids’ Programs to Prevent Crime
Joins Law Enforcement Leaders to meet with Illinois Lawmakers in Springfield


Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds joined prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs from throughout Illinois this week to meet with leaders in Springfield about investing in research proven programs for kids that prevent crime.

“Law enforcement throughout Illinois recognizes that the best way to prevent crime is to invest in youth to help steer them toward a good start in life” Edmonds said.  “These programs save taxpayer money and strengthen families and communities making us all safer.”

The group met with several legislators including House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, Senate President John Cullerton, Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, Senator Dale Fowler and Senator Paul Schimpf.

The law enforcement leaders represented over 300 law enforcement leaders who are members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois, an anti-crime organization that advocates for evidence-based investments in programs for kids that are proven to cut crime and violence including

  • Redeploy Illinois – which provides intensive pre-trial and probation services for juvenile offenders and significantly reduces recidivism.
  • Early Childhood Education – high-quality pre-school programs can dramatically reduce future crime by giving kids a good academic and social start.
  • Teen REACH – after-school programs representing safe and educational alternatives to the streets. Thousands of at-risk youth benefit from safe spaces during the “prime time for juvenile crime.”
  • Home Visiting Programs – help for the new parents of at-risk infants and toddlers, reducing child abuse and neglect, among other positive results.

Edmonds and other law enforcement leaders also released a report on the severity of the opioid epidemic in Illinois, and evidence-based prevention efforts that can be a key component of the response to that epidemic.  The report,Stopping the Opioid Crisis Begins at Home”, highlights the role of home visiting programs — voluntary programs in which nurses or other trained professionals coach at-risk parents during pregnancy or during the first three years of a child’s life — in reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences.  Individuals who experienced several Adverse Childhood Experiences are significantly more likely to misuse or become addicted to opioids later in life. Prevention efforts targeted at reducing these experiences are necessary to reducing opioid abuse.  The law enforcement leaders of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids are prioritizing anti-opioid efforts because of the scope of the problem in Illinois: the state saw a 76 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths from 2013 to 2016, and the rate of babies born with opioid withdrawal — also known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome —increased 53 percent from 2011 to 2016.

The law enforcement leaders of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids emphasized that evidence-based prevention programs were just part of a multi-pronged approach, which includes law enforcement efforts to put dealers behind bars, direct addicts to treatment, save lives through the use of naloxone, and take action in the courts.   “There’s certainly no single solution to the opioid crisis,” Edmonds said. “But we’re here today to say: Our approach is incomplete and insufficient if it doesn’t include appropriate attention to prevention, and the role of proven early childhood investments.”

State’s Attorney Edmonds serves as co-chair of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, the state office of a national, non-profit, bipartisan, anti-crime organization of more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, leaders of law enforcement organizations, and victims of crime.  It has over 300 members in Illinois.

###

Five Sentenced to Prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 22, 2018

Five Sentenced to Prison

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced the following sentences to the Illinois Department of Corrections:

Kevin G. Cable (DOB: 05/11/1975) of Pulaski County has been sentenced to forty-two (42) months in the Illinois Department of Corrections on two (2) counts of Burglary, both Class 2 Felonies, after a hearing where he was found to have violated the terms of his probation.  He will also serve two (2) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly known as Parole).  Cable burglarized two buildings in rural Dongola in 2015 and was placed on probation.  At the hearing for probation revocation, it was found that Cable had failed to comply with the terms of probation and that he had burglarized another building in rural Dongola.

Robert M. Best (DOB: 01/04/1977) of Cape Girardeau, Missouri has been sentenced to three (3) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after admitting to a Petition for Revocation of Probation for the Original Offense of Theft (Class 2 Felony) and will serve two (2) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release.  Best took possession of property from a rural Union County residence in October 2015.   Best was arrested in December 2015 following an investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office.  Probation was revoked based upon a new offense and failure to comply with Probation.

Stevie R. Easterly (DOB: 09/29/1997) of Anna, Illinois has been sentenced to two (2) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to one (1) count of Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine (Class 3 Felony) and will serve a one (1) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release.  Easterly was arrested in October 2017 following an investigation by the Anna Police.  The Jonesboro Police and Union County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted in the investigation.

Heath Patrick Tellor (DOB: 09/30/1985) of Anna, Illinois has been sentenced to three (3) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to one (1) count of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance (Class 4 Felony) and will serve a one (1) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release.  Tellor was arrested in January 2018 following an investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office.   The Cobden Police assisted in the investigation.

Dustin R. Haynes (DOB: 10/22/1995) of Wolf Lake, Illinois has been sentenced to three (3) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to one (1) count of Theft (Class 3 Felony) and will serve a one (1) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release.  Haynes was arrested in January 2018 by Jonesboro Police after taking a vehicle from an Anna residence.  The Anna Police and Union County Sheriff Deputies assisted in the arrest.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

###

Indiana Murder Suspect in Custody

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Joint Release from Union County Sheriff and Union County State’s Attorney

March 19, 2018

Indiana Murder Suspect in Custody

Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel and Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Jacob Louis Wilson (DOB 09/23/1982) is in custody on a Gibson County, Indiana warrant charging one (1) count of Murder.  Gibson was taken into custody by Union County Sheriff’s Deputies at approximately noon on Saturday, March 17 near Mt. Hebron road in rural Makanda in Union County.  Gibson will appear in court on Tuesday, March 20 for a hearing on extradition to Indiana.

The Union County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

###

Sheriff and State’s Attorney Recognize Deputy for Drug and Gun Seizure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Joint Release from Union County Sheriff and Union County State’s Attorney

March 19, 2018

Sheriff and State’s Attorney Recognize Deputy for Drug and Gun Seizure

Union County Sheriff Scott Harvel and Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds today recognized Deputy Josh Schildknecht for his work on a 2017 traffic stop which resulted in two sentences to prison for drug distribution and the seizure of methamphetamine, guns and more than $23,000 in drug money.  In January 2017, Deputy Schildknecht responded to a call on Old Cape Road in rural Jonesboro regarding an ATV operating on the roadway.  After locating and pursuing the ATV, Schildknecht obtained information regarding possible drug activity and obtained a search warrant for a motorhome parked just off the roadway.  The subsequent search resulted in the seizure of methamphetamine, cannabis, five firearms and cash.  Two offenders were sentenced to prison and the proceeds of the forfeitures will be used to fund ongoing anti-drug programs in Union County.

Sheriff Harvel recognized Deputy Schildknecht’s extraordinary efforts which “led to the apprehension of a dangerous individual and the seizure of drugs and guns that would have directly affected the safety of the community”  and noted that Schildknecht’s actions “reflect the highest standard of conduct for the Law Enforcement Profession and brings great credit to the Union County Sheriff’s Office”.  State’s Attorney Edmonds added that “Deputy Schildknecht’s quick thinking and decisive actions led to a significant quantity of drugs, drug money and illegal guns coming off our streets and to the sentencing of two drug dealers to prison.  He and the entire Union County Sheriff’s Office deserve credit for a job well done.”

(Left to Right) State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds, Sheriff Scott Harvel, Deputy Josh Schildknecht, Detective Asa Busby

###

Jonesboro Man Sentenced to Prison for Methamphetamine Offense

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 16, 2018

Jonesboro Man Sentenced to Prison for Methamphetamine Offense

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Zatek S. Thomas (DOB 01/28/1989) of rural Jonesboro has been sentenced to eight (8) year terms in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, a Class 1 Felony.  Thomas will serve a two (2) year term of Mandatory Supervised Release (formerly parole).

Thomas was arrested in January 2017 following an investigation by the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

State’s Attorney Reminds Public Regarding Tax Refund Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 22, 2018

State’s Attorney Reminds Public Regarding Tax Refund Fraud

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds is alerting the public regarding identity theft and tax refund fraud associated with April’s tax filing deadline.  Tax refund fraud commonly occurs when stolen identity information is used to file a tax return in the victim’s name and the thief then obtains the refund that would be due to the victim.  Tax refund fraud has previously been reported in Union County and the State’s Attorney’s Office urges the public to protect identifying documents and information as the tax deadline approaches.  The IRS has completed its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams with a warning to taxpayers about aggressive telephone scams continuing from coast-to-coast during this filing season.  Along with aggressive and threatening phone calls, e-mail phishing schemes are among the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams.  Members of the public with questions or reporting suspicious activity may call the Union County State’s Attorney’s Office at 618-833-7216 or the IRS toll-free at 1-800-908-4490.

The IRS list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams include the following:

  • Phone Scams: Phone calls from criminals impersonating IRS agents remain an ongoing threat to tax payers.  The IRS has seen a surge of these phone scams in recent years as scam artists threaten taxpayers with police arrest, deportation and license revocation, among other things.
  • Phishing: Taxpayers need to be on guard against fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. The IRS will not send taxpayers an email about a bill or refund out of the blue. Don’t click on one claiming to be from the IRS. Taxpayers should be wary of strange emails and websites that may be nothing more than scams to steal personal information.
  • Return Preparer Fraud: Taxpayers need to be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest high-quality service. But there are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers.  Legitimate tax professionals are a vital part of the U.S. tax system.
  • Inflated Refund Claims: Taxpayers need to be on the lookout for anyone promising inflated refunds. Taxpayers should be wary of anyone who asks them to sign a blank return, promise a big refund before looking at their records, or charge fees based on a percentage of the refund. Scam artists use flyers, advertisements, phony store fronts and word of mouth via community groups where trust is high to find victims.
  • Fake Charities: Taxpayers should be on guard against groups masquerading as charitable organizations to attract donations from unsuspecting contributors. Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations.  Contributors should take a few extra minutes to ensure their hard-earned money goes to legitimate and currently eligible charities. IRS.gov has the tools taxpayers need to check out the status of charitable organizations.

Additional information is also available online at www.unioncountyil.gov/sa and at www.irs.gov/identitytheft.  The full list of the “Dirty Dozen” tax scams is available at https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/dirty-dozen

Anna Man Sentenced to Prison for Sex Abuse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 16, 2018

Anna Man Sentenced to Prison for Sex Abuse

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Stewart Everett Gowan (DOB 12/30/1949) of Anna has been sentenced to four (4) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections to one (1) count of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, a Class 2 Felony.  Gowan will serve a two (2) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release and must register as a sex offender for life.  Gowan committed an act of sexual conduct with a 14 year old minor in October 2017. Gowan was arrested in October 2017 as part of an investigation by Anna Police.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

Cobden Man Sentenced to Prison for Delivery of Methamphetamine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 11, 2018

Cobden Man Sentenced to Prison for Delivery of Methamphetamine

Union County State’s Attorney Tyler R. Edmonds announced today that Marin F. Amesquita (DOB 10/28/1979) of Cobden has been sentenced to three (3) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections to one (1) count of Unlawful Delivery of Methamphetamine (Class 2 Felony).  Amesquita will serve a two (2) year period of Mandatory Supervised Release.  Amesquita was arrested in October 2017 following an investigation by the Illinois State Police – Southern Illinois Drug Task Force.  Amesquita was also sentenced to concurrent three (3) years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after admitting to a Petition for Revocation of Probation for the Original Offense of Unlawful Restraint (Class 4 Felony).  Amesquita was arrested in March 2016 following an investigation by Cobden Police.  Amesquita was placed on Probation in April 2016.  Probation was revoked based upon the new offense.

Media: Please contact the Union County Sheriff’s Office at (618) 833-5500 for any available booking photographs.

Next Page »

Union County State's Attorney's Office