EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A federal judge has sentenced an East St. Louis man who served as a local leader in a national drug ring.

Jeffrey Taylor, 40, was sentenced to 16.5 years in prison Thursday. The Drug Enforcement Administration says Taylor was the leader of a drug trafficking ring from February 2017 to August 2018 in Madison and St. Clair counties, primarily operating in East St. Louis.

According to court documents, Taylor ran operations in the drug organization, recruited members for illegal activities and provided direction. In the Metro East, the conspiracy involved at least 240 pounds of ice methamphetamine and 48 kilograms of cocaine.

“The defendant was responsible for bringing significant quantities of illicit, destructive narcotics
across state lines and into southern Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “This
sentence demonstrates the severity of drug trafficking, and I applaud DEA’s efforts for bringing
these offenders to justice.”

“This sentence is a victory for communities in southern Illinois and metropolitan St. Louis. We are proud to work alongside our law enforcement partners on this important mission,” said Thomas F. Murdock, special agent in charge of the St. Louis Field Office.

Taylor pled guilty to charges of conspiracy, distribution, possession and attempted possession of methamphetamine and cocaine, in addition to money laundering. He will also ordered to five years of supervised released after his prison term.

Sixteen co-defendants have also been indicted in the conspiracy to various drug charges. Some have been sentenced from time served and supervised release up to 22 years in federal prison.

During the investigation, those accused in the conspiracy lived in East St. Louis, Washington Park and Wood River in Illinois, in addition to California, Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.