McLeansboro Times-Leader


November 13, 2013

Man gets 20 years for meth

McLEANSBORO — A convicted felon who was out on parole less than six months when he was arrested again was sent back to prison.

Brandon D. Harris, 31, received a 20-year sentence after pleading guilty Nov. 7 to an amended Class 1 felony charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, according to Hamilton County Circuit Court records. He had been charged with a Class X felony in the latest case, but the amount of meth in his possession was reduced in the charge.

It was Harris’ second meth conviction in Hamilton County in the past four years.

In 2010, Harris was convicted of possession of meth-manufacturing materials in Hamilton County and possession of anhydrous ammonia in Wayne County, according to online court records. He was sentenced to six years in prison in each case.

Judge Barry Vaughan ordered the new 20-year sentence to be served consecutively with the original six-year sentences.

Online Illinois Department of Corrections records indicate Harris was released on parole in April after serving three years.

Harris was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over Oct. 4 by McLeansboro police after a traffic violation, State’s Attorney Justin Hood said in a court document.

“He had multiple coffee filters … in his back pocket,” Hood said. “The coffee filters had a white, chunky substance that tested positive for methamphetamine.”

Harris was found to be in possession of between 15 and 100 grams of meth, Hood indicated.

The Illinois State Police meth response team reported processing two “shake and bake” meth labs in the vehicle.

A second person arrested in the case, Kristy R. Potts, 31, of Eldorado, pleaded not guilty at a hearing last week to multiple meth and other felony charges, including unlawfully contributing to the criminal delinquency of a juvenile.

At the hearing, Vaughan denied a motion to release Potts on her own recognizance. She was in custody on $75,000 bond.

A pretrial hearing in her case is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 25 in Hamilton County court.

As part of Harris’ plea agreement, charges of participation in meth manufacturing, a Class X felony, and unlawful possession of meth-manufacturing material, a Class 2 felony, were dismissed.

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