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Woman gets 10 years in federal prison for Coles County drug deal

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URBANA — A Champaign County woman has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for her role in delivering methamphetamine to two other people in Coles County.

Angela Faith Brown, 42, of Philo, was accused of meeting two people in Ashmore on June 23, 2019, to conduct the drug transaction.

The others were also arrested in connection with the drug sale and charged in Coles County Circuit Court.

One of those suspects has since pleaded guilty and received prison time while the case against the other suspect is still pending.

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Brown pleaded guilty in November to a charge in a federal indictment that accused her of having at least 1¾ ounces of methamphetamine planned for sale at the time of her arrest.

Records in the suspects’ cases say police found nearly 6 ounces of the drug in her possession following a traffic stop that took place just before her scheduled meeting with the other suspects.

Cellphone searches also indicated a series of contacts between Brown and the others to arrange methamphetamine purchases, the records say.

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The suspect who’s now serving prison time is Lisa M. Milligan, 50, of Charleston.

She pleaded guilty in November to a methamphetamine possession charge and received a 4½-year prison term. The charge was reduced from an offense that would have required at least six years in prison.

The other suspect, John B. Espeland, 42, of Urbana, is scheduled for a pretrial court hearing on May 6.

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Brown was first charged in Coles County court but that case was dismissed in favor of the federal prosecution.

The cases' records say the investigation began when officers with the Mattoon-based East Central Illinois Task Force drug investigation unit received information about Brown's plans to go to Ashmore for the sale.

Task force officers and Coles County sheriff's deputies located and stopped Brown's vehicle near Ashmore, according to the records.

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The Charleston Police Department’s K-9 unit was used to search the vehicle, and the dog alerted and led to the discovery of the methamphetamine, the records say.

Brown then told officers she was en route to Ashmore to meet a man and a woman, later identified as Espeland and Milligan, to conduct the sale, according to the records.

They said Espeland and Milligan were located in a vehicle parked outside the Ashmore residence that Brown said was their planned meeting location. They had about $5,000 in cash in their possession, according to the records.

The records say Espeland refused to answer police questions. However, they say Milligan told officers she arranged the purchases for Espeland and her cellphone records showed messages making those arrangements.


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