CHARLESTON -- A man was sentenced to prison when he admitted having methamphetamine planned for sale.

Steven D. Strong, 55, for whom court records show a Mattoon address, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

With the agreement reached in his case, Strong was sentenced to prison for 4 1/2 years.

Prison time wasn't required but he was eligible for a three- to 14-year prison term, with twice the usual maximum possible because of his criminal record.

Case records say police obtained a warrant and searched Strong's residence on April 8. He and another man were located there, along with the methamphetamine, the records say.

Coles County Circuit Judge James Glenn sentenced Strong by accepting the terms of a plea agreement that State's Attorney Jesse Danley and defense attorney Todd Reardon Jr. recommended.

Records show that Strong's prior convictions include at least three aggravated battery offenses and a domestic battery offense for which he served prison time.

The case is pending against the other man arrested, Lonnie W. Sowell, 57, for whom records show addresses in Paris and Charleston.

In other drug cases in court recently, guilty pleas were also entered by:

  • Keila Ortiz, 25, whose address on record is in Champaign, to a charge of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver accusing her of having marijuana planned for sale in Charleston on May 30.
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Other charges, including offenses accusing Ortiz of arranging marijuana shipments by mail, were dismissed.

The charge to which she pleaded guilty was reduced and she was sentenced to two years of first offender probation, giving her a chance for no record of a conviction.

A co-defendant, Brandon M. Goodman, 29, for whom records show a Peoria address, still faces drug trafficking charges in a pending case.

Goodman is accused of arranging for marijuana to be mailed to Charleston. Ortiz was present when police conducted a controlled purchase, according to case records.

Ortiz also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor resisting police charge and also received two years of probation for that offense. Terms of her sentences included a substance abuse treatment evaluation.

Glenn accepted a plea agreement that Assistant State's Attorney Jenifer Schiavone and Assistant Public Defender Stephanie Corum recommended.

  • Joshua J. Monroe, 40, for whom records show a rural Greenup address, to a methamphetamine possession charge alleging he had the drug found during a traffic stop near Charleston on Dec. 7.

Monroe was sentenced to two years of probation for the drug offense. He also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and received two years of court supervision.

Circuit Judge Mitchell Shick accepted a plea agreement that Assistant State's Attorney Joy Wolf and Reardon recommended.

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Contact Dave Fopay at (217) 238-6858. Follow him on Twitter: @FopayDave



Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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