Chicago man pleads guilty to heroin conspiracy in Centralia

EAST ST. LOUIS — Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that 26-year old Darnell Roy Baker, also known as “Forty,” of Chicago, pleaded guilty to charges returned against him by a Federal Grand Jury in November 2014.  

Specifically, Baker pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin from September 2012 through October 2014 in Marion County and four counts of Distribution of Heroin during June and July 2014, also in Marion County.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of not less than 5 years in federal prison, up to 40 years in prison, a $5 million fine, and at least 4 years’ supervised release.  The remaining counts carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and not less than 3 years’ supervised release.

All counts require an assessment of $100.  According to court documents, Baker agreed with his co-defendants, Dominique Burwell, and Marquise Ross, to distribute heroin for profit in Centralia.  

Baker and the others shared a cell phone which customers would contact to order heroin.  Burwell often answered the shared cell phone, took the order, and then sent Baker or Ross to complete the transaction with the customer at whatever location was agreed upon.  

In July, Burwell was convicted in the case.  In August, Ross pleaded guilty in the case and is awaiting sentencing.

Information leading to the charges against Baker was obtained in an investigation conducted by the FBI, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Kit Morrissey.