CHARLESTON – An Urbana man who was sentenced to four years probation two months ago for heroin trafficking in Champaign County is back in jail for allegedly guilty of the same crime in another county.
Chernenko Smith, 35, who last lived on Austin Drive, was arrested in Charleston Wednesday morning by members of the East Central Illinois Task Force after he was allegedly found near a bag containing more than a pound of methamphetamine in that city.
Champaign County’s assistant district attorney Chris McCallum said he filed a suspended parole Thursday against Judge Roger Webber in early June based on information received from Coles County police and prosecutors Smith had imposed.
Smith pleaded guilty to selling heroin in a house on Sheridan Drive in Champaign in June 2020. When local police found the drugs, they also found a loaded gun and papers linking Smith to the heroin.
He pleaded guilty to a Class 2 crime in Champaign County in April, with more serious charges dismissed in return. McCallum requested a five-year prison sentence for Smith, who, according to his file, could face three to 14 years, including other convictions for reckless gun discharge, domestic battery, resisting a peace officer, and making or supplying heroin.
Smith told Webber that the birth of his fourth child awaiting trial in prison caused him to change his ways. Webber then sentenced him to probation and ordered him to do 100 hours of public service, investigate and treat substance abuse, and make up for one of his four children.
On Friday, the Coles County Prosecutor’s Office charged Smith with delivering 400 to 900 grams of methamphetamine, a Class X crime that, if convicted, carries sentences ranging from eight to 40 years.
McCallum said when the Charleston police approached Smith, he allegedly threw a bag of 567 grams of methamphetamine into nearby weeds. He told police he didn’t look in his pocket, but McCallum said it contained an Illinois State Department document with Smith’s name on it.
Smith was held in Coles County Jail on Saturday in lieu of a $ 250,000 bond. He will be on trial again in Charleston on August 16.
It is not clear when Smith will be brought back to Champaign County to be charged with the revocation of his parole. Webber warned Smith in June that he could face 14 years in prison for breaking the law while on probation.
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