Home Springfield Press Releases 2012 Arrests Target Alleged Cocaine, Crack Trafficking Network in Bloomington-Normal

Arrests Target Alleged Cocaine, Crack Trafficking Network in Bloomington-Normal
Fifteen Charged in Operation Blue Bulldog OCDETF Investigation

U.S. Attorney’s Office August 01, 2012
  • Central District of Illinois (217) 492-4450

NORMAL, IL—Two brothers, Matthew Sullivan, 30, and Marcus Sullivan, 29, of Bloomington, Illinois, and 13 additional local residents have been charged in federal criminal complaints filed as a result of a cooperative investigation known as Operation Blue Bulldog that targets cocaine and crack distribution in the Bloomington-Normal area. The defendants arrested this morning are scheduled to make their initial appearances tomorrow afternoon in federal court in Peoria.

The charges are the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation announced today by U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois; David A. Ford, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Springfield Division; Peoria Area Safe Streets Task Force; and Chief Rick Bleichner, Normal Police Department, with assistance provided by the Bloomington Police Department, Chief Randall McKinley, and the Illinois State Police, represented by Lt. Greg Lindemulder. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greggory R. Walters is prosecuting the cases in the Central District of Illinois, Peoria Division.

Agencies providing assistance in making today’s arrests include the U.S. Marshals Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the McLean County Sheriff’s Office; and the McLean County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Operation Blue Bulldog defendants charged in federal criminal complaints include:

  • Matthew G. Sullivan, 30, of Masters Dr., Bloomington, Ill.;
  • Marcus R. Sullivan, 29, of Masters Dr., Bloomington;
  • Michael S. Percell, 29, of the 2600 block of Mahogany Ct., Bloomington;
  • William M. Watts, 35, of Goose Creek Dr., Bloomington;
  • Reginald R. Rowry, 29, of the 600 block of North Roosevelt Ave., Bloomington;
  • Wyatt E. Curtis, 32, of the 500 block of East Cole St., Heyworth;
  • Marquelle D. Palmer, 28, of the 1100 block of Mu St., Bloomington;
  • Teonelle L. Binion, 32, of the 1000 block of South Hinshaw Ave., Bloomington;
  • James E. Ferguson, 30, of the 300 block of South Euclid Ave., Bloomington;
  • Cordaro A. Williams, 25, of the 1400 block of East College Ave., Normal;
  • Dustin J. Gibson, 32, of the 1200 block of North Lee St., Bloomington;
  • Danny L. Stice, 36, of the 1100 block of South Main St., Bloomington;
  • Perry L. Harrington, 33, of the 300 block of Riley Dr., Bloomington;
  • Lola M. Paulson, 41, of the 1500 block of North Western Ave., Bloomington; and
  •  Kyle R. Wright, 36, of the 600 block of Valley View Circle, Bloomington.

The affidavit filed in support of the complaints alleges that Matthew Sullivan and his brother, Marcus Sullivan, are the primary leaders of a drug trafficking organization that is involved in the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine. Beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present, the affidavit alleges that the Sullivans conspired with others to supply drugs for distribution in the Bloomington-Normal area. The affidavit further alleges the conspiracy involves multiple kilograms of cocaine and crack cocaine.

According to the affidavit, the investigation known as Operation Blue Bulldog began in 2010 by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force. The affidavit details various incidents gathered by law enforcement during the investigation including numerous controlled purchases of drugs and information gathered by law enforcement from various sources and surveillance.

The affidavit alleges that the Sullivan brothers have traveled outside the Central District of Illinois to obtain crack cocaine and cocaine for distribution in the Bloomington-Normal area. Further, both have allegedly converted cocaine into crack cocaine. The affidavit further details various actions taken by individuals to further the conspiracy to distribute crack and cocaine to others.

“I commend all the law enforcement agencies, because they gathered the evidence that supports these serious charges,” said U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis. “The community has a chance to move forward as these law enforcement agencies truly serve and protect this community.”

David A. Ford, Special Agent in Charge of the Springfield Division, stated, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation takes very seriously the safety of our streets and communities throughout Illinois. These arrests are the culmination of efforts led by the FBI and the Normal Police Department. We are proud to work closely with all of the law enforcement agencies that assisted in this operation. The FBI will continue to combat drug trafficking and violent crimes in Illinois and utilize our relationships with our law enforcement partners to keep the citizens of our community safe.”

Matthew Sullivan, Marcus Sullivan, Percell, Watts, Rowry, and Curtis, who owns and operates Larry Curtis Cars, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine from 2001 to the present.

Palmer, Binion, and Ferguson are charged in a separate complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine from April 2012 to the present.

Williams is also charged in a separate complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine from June 2012 to the present.

If convicted, the offense of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute crack cocaine carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years to life in prison. If a defendant has one or more prior felony drug convictions, the mandatory minimum penalty is 20 years to life in prison. With two or more prior felony drug convictions, the statutory penalty is life in prison.

Gibson and Stice are charged in a separate complaint with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute at least 500 grams of cocaine from February 2012 to the present. If convicted, the offense carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years up to 40 years in prison. If a defendant has one or more prior felony drug convictions, the mandatory minimum penalty is 10 years to life in prison.

Harrington and Paulson are each charged in separate complaints with crack cocaine offenses. Harrington is charged with distribution of at least 28 grams of crack cocaine, and Paulson is charged with aiding and abetting the distribution of at least 28 grams of crack cocaine. If convicted, each of these offenses carries a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of five years up to 40 years in prison. If a defendant has one or more prior felony drug convictions, the mandatory minimum penalty is 10 years to life in prison.

Wright is charged in a separate complaint with aiding and abetting the possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. If convicted, the offense carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. If a defendant has one or more prior felony drug convictions, the maximum penalty is 30 years in prison.

Members of the public are reminded that a complaint is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.