Illinois man sent to prison on heroin, gun charges

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (AP) _ A southwestern Illinois man has been ordered to spend more than 11 years in federal prison on heroin and weapons charges.

Eric Beckley of Centreville pleaded guilty in October in East St. Louis to charges of possession of heroin with the intent of distributing it and of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

While sentencing 30-year-old Beckley on Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Herndon warned the man he “could have easily killed someone on any one of the occasions when you sold heroin.”

Federal and state authorities have been going aggressively against heroin in southwestern Illinois, given a spike in the number of heroin deaths in recent years.

Beckley has been jailed since last October.