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Four sentenced in Gallatin County

On Monday, March 26, 2018 in Gallatin County Circuit Court four individuals were sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Misty Hazel of Shawneetown, IL pleaded guilty to Unlawful Use of Property, in that she used a vehicle to transport and possess 31.1 grams of methamphetamine, under a negotiated plea agreement Monday in front of Judge Thomas Foster. Hazel was sentenced to a term of six-years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with a two-year term of parole to be served upon her release. Under the agreement, Hazel admitted to possessing 31.1 grams of methamphetamine and using a blue Pontiac SUV to transport that methamphetamine in Shawneetown, Gallatin County, Illinois. The case was investigated by the Shawneetown Police Dept. with assistance from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Dept., the Illinois State Police and Gallatin County Probation.

Roxann Roberts, of White County, but formerly of Shawneetown, IL also entered a plea of guilty under a negotiated plea agreement in Gallatin County Court Monday morning. Roberts pleaded guilty to possessing less than five grams of methamphetamine in Shawneetown, IL. Roberts also had involvement in the theft and burglary ring busted by Gallatin County Law Enforcement last Thursday that stretched between Gallatin and White Counties and involved the issuance of a search warrant and multiple arrests. Roberts admitted to having less than grams of methamphetamine in her possession; and was sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections for a period of five-years with a one-year period of parole. Roberts was ordered to pay court costs, fees, and assessments. Additionally, A 1995 Honda ATV used in the commission of the crime was forfeited to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Dept. as part of the negotiated plea agreement. The case was investigated by the Shawneetown Police Dept., The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Dept., and the Ridgway Police Dept.

Nicholas Jester, formerly of Gallatin County, IL also entered a plea of guilty under a negotiated plea agreement in Gallatin County Circuit Court Monday morning for his involvement in the above-mentioned burglary and theft ring from Thursday, March 22, in Gallatin County. Jester pleaded guilty to one count of Burglary and was sentenced to five-years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with a mandatory parole period of two-years. Under the agreement, Jester admitted that he made unlawful entry into a building South of Omaha, IL on Graves Road when he beat the handle off of the door with a sledge hammer. Jester admitted that the break-in was done with the intent to commit a theft once inside. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Dept., Shawneetown Police Dept., and Ridgway Police Dept. all investigated and worked the case. The Sheriff, two deputies, two chiefs of police, and several concerned citizens pursued Jester all morning on the 22nd through Northern Gallatin County and into White County, where he was apprehended with assistance from the White County Sheriff’s Dept. and workers from an oil field company.

Sarah Ray, of New Haven, IL also entered a plea of guilty Monday morning in Gallatin County Circuit Court to Aggravated Identity Theft. Ray admitted that she used the personal information of her elderly father to obtain credit in the amount of $3,500 from Wal-Mart, and that her father was over 60 years of age at the time of the offense. Ray was sentenced to three-years in the Illinois Dept. of Corrections with a parole period of two-years upon her release. The investigation that lead to the arrest and conviction of Ray began months ago by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Dept. and Posey County, Indiana Sheriff’s Dept. and culminated with the service of a search warrant at Ray’s home on February 9th, 2018. The warrant was executed by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Dept. with assistance from Shawneetown Police Dept., and Ridgway Police Dept. Evidence was located at the residence which implicated Ray in the aggravated identity theft.

All four individuals also had charges pending in White County Circuit Court. With the coordination and cooperation of the White County State’s Attorney Office and the Gallatin County State’s Attorney Office, all four individuals were sentenced in both White and Gallatin County. All remaining suspects are innocent until proven guilty.