Peoria man sentenced to 35 years for drugs, weapons offenses
PEORIA (25News Now) - A Peoria man, formerly of the 700 block of East LaSalle Street, was sentenced Tuesday to a total of 35 years in prison, along with five years of supervised release.
Harold U. McGhee, 48, was sentenced for the following offenses, according to a Department of Justice release:
- Count 1: Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine
- Count 2: Possession with Intent to Distribute 28 Grams or More of a Mixture or Substance Containing Cocaine Base
- Count 3: Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine
- Count 4: Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin
- Count 5: Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl
- Count 6: Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking
- Count 7: Felon in Possession of a Firearm
- Count 8: Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking
At McGhee’s sentencing hearing, the government summarized the evidence from his trial, which resulted in a guilty verdict on all counts in December 2022.
According to the release, law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant in February 2022 for McGhee’s house, car, cell phones, and his person.
In the dining room of the house, officers found three bags of crack cocaine totaling 177 grams, a bag containing 60 grams of powder cocaine, a digital scale, sandwich bags, and plastic gloves. In a kitchen cabinet, officers found 442 grams of methamphetamine; 40 grams of a substance containing heroin, fentanyl, and Xylazine; and another digital scale.
In McGhee’s living room, officers found $6,770 in cash. In McGhee’s basement, officers found other tools of the drug trade like blenders, a cocaine press, and a vacuum sealer. Under McGhee’s bed, officers found a loaded Glock 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine. The gun had been reported stolen in Evansville, Indiana, in 2019.
McGhee admitted that the drugs in the house were his. He also admitted that the gun belonged to him and that he received it as payment for two or three grams of heroin that he sold to someone around February 2021.
At the time of his arrest, McGhee was on federal supervised release for a 2016 conviction for conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute. He has multiple other prior felony convictions, including for possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and aggravated battery.
McGhee faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years and up to life in prison. Each of the counts individually carried the following possible penalties:
- Count 1: 10 years to life imprisonment; up to a $250,000 fine; and a five-year to life term of supervised release.
- Count 2: Five to 40 years’ imprisonment; up to a $250,000 fine; and a four-year to life term of supervised release
- Counts 3-5: Up to 20 years’ imprisonment; up to a $250,000 fine; and a three-year to life term of supervised release
- Counts 6, 8: Not less than five years’ imprisonment for each count, consecutive to all other counts; maximum fine of $2 million; and not less than a five-year term of supervised release
- Count 7: 15 years to life imprisonment; up to a $250,000 fine and up to a three-year term of supervised release
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