EAST ST. LOUIS – A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a Lebanon man on Tuesday to more than 16 years in federal prison for his involvement in distributing methamphetamine in St. Clair County.

Michael P. O’Leary, 48, pled guilty to one count of methamphetamine distribution, one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of felon in possession of a firearm. In addition to his prison sentence, he received five years of supervised release.

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“The defendant was responsible for distributing large amounts of methamphetamine throughout the Metro East,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Illegal, dangerous drugs have no place in downstate Illinois communities, and the U.S. Attorney Office will continue to work with the DEA to remove individuals responsible for infecting families and loved ones.” “Drug traffickers engage in their illicit activities for a specific reason: to make money,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sean Vickers, head of Drug Enforcement Administration operations in southern Illinois. “Unfortunately, some of them use firearms to commit their criminal acts. This 16-year sentence demonstrates that DEA and its local and federal partners are dedicated to taking illegally possessed firearms off the street and putting these criminals out of business.”

According to court documents, an undercover DEA agent purchased 55 grams of methamphetamine from O’Leary in December 2020. In January 2021, the DEA executed a search warrant of his Lebanon residence and recovered 467 grams of methamphetamine.

During the search, DEA agents also located a handgun in O’Leary’s closet and was informed he owned several other firearms. The defendant is a convicted felon from a methamphetamine distribution charge in March 2015 and thus unable to legally possess firearms. DEA led the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Carraway prosecuted the case.

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