U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Illinois
(618) 628-3700
February 9, 2015

Construction Worker Sentenced to Federal Prison for Cocaine Delivery

A St. Charles, Missouri, resident was sentenced to federal prison for unlawful distribution of a controlled substance on February 6, 2015, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Charles Sweeny, 56, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison, a $7,500 fine, a $100 special assessment, and three years of supervised release.

Sweeny was indicted on January 23, 2014, and pleaded guilty on August 28, 2014. The evidence established that Charles Sweeny worked as a construction worker for a man named David Ray, 55, of Fieldon, Illinois. Ray owned various construction businesses in the area and an investigation revealed that Sweeny was supplying Ray with cocaine. Agents arranged for two controlled purchases of cocaine to be made. The first resulted in the seizure of 126.5 grams of cocaine on March 9, 2012, when Sweeny personally delivered cocaine to an address in Jersey County, Illinois. The second controlled delivery was interrupted and Sweeny was caught while he was in the process of delivering cocaine to a Jersey County, Illinois, address. This second incident resulted in a seizure of 301.2 grams of cocaine, on April 17, 2012. During the investigation, agents also seized an additional 229.9 grams of cocaine that Sweeny had supplied to Ray. Sweeny was arrested after the second controlled delivery on April 17, 2012.

David Ray was separately prosecuted for unlawfully possessing firearms while being a user of cocaine. In addition, his various businesses were investigated and he was convicted for tax evasion for using his businesses to pay personal expenses, by vesting ownership of personal assets in the name of his businesses, and by filing false tax returns with the IRS or refusing to file a U.S. Individual Tax Return all together. In tax years 2005-2010, Ray concealed income from the IRS for the purpose of limiting his tax liability resulting in him avoiding $1,272,904.83 in federal income taxes that he otherwise would have been required to pay. On December 22, 2014, David Ray was sentenced to 37 months in prison, a $7,500 fine, $1,272,904.83 in restitution, a $200 special assessment, and three years of supervised release. Ray also forfeited a gun collection valued between $75,000-$100,000.

The investigation was conducted by agents from the Internal Revenue Service / Criminal Investigations, the Jersey County Sheriff’s Department, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. Weinhoeft.

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