MARION COUNTY — A 48-year-old Carlinville man was sentenced Thursday in Marion County Court to 10-years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, after he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of felony possession of methamphetamine.

Joseph Cole (Source: MCSO)
Joseph Cole
(Source: MCSO)

Joseph A. Cole was initially charged with Class X felony aggravated protected delivery of between 5 and 15 grams of meth, Class X armed habitual criminal and misdemeanor possession of between 2.5 and 10 grams of cannabis.

The meth delivery charge was reduced to Class 2 felony possession of between 5-15 grams of meth. He pleaded guilty to the reduced charge in exchange for the other two charges being dismissed.

Cole has been held in the Marion County Jail since his June arrest, with bail set at $250,000. He was given credit for 143 days served.

Centralia police arrested Cole after they noticed a marijuana joint sticking from a cigarette pack in one of his shirt pockets during a traffic stop.

Further investigation then revealed two more marijuana joints in the cigarette pack, six baggies of crystal “ice” methamphetamine inside a cup, as well as a drug pipe containing meth residue.

A loaded handgun was also reportedly found, and a check revealed Cole – a convicted felon – did not have a firearms owner identification card.