PEORIA, Ill. – A Peoria, Illinois, woman, Donna N. Mark, 39, of the 2000 block of North California Street, was sentenced on January 20, 2022 to 168 months’ imprisonment (14 years), to be followed by five years of supervised release, for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The Court also ordered forfeiture of $21,578.95 seized at the time of the arrest.
At Mark’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid stated that Mark was “one of the most prolific” drug dealers, noting that she was arrested with over $21,000 and 9 pounds of ice methamphetamine destined for the communities of central Illinois. The judge weighed the substantial amount of methamphetamine found against Mark’s relatively short criminal history and positive upbringing. The judge noted that, while Mark did struggle with drug addiction during her 30s, the amount of drugs and cash she possessed showed that she was a drug dealer of “extraordinary” proportions.
At the hearing, the government explained that Mark’s offense conduct arose on March 2, 2021 when an officer with Morton Police Department was conducting warrant checks at the OYO Hotel in Morton, Illinois. Mark provided a fake name to police, who eventually contacted her again, along with two others to whom she had sold drugs. The investigation revealed Mark attempted to switch hotel rooms and hide bundles of ice methamphetamine in the toilet tank of the hotel room after giving the fake name to police. In total, law enforcement seized 8.2 pounds of ice methamphetamine from the toilet tank, an additional 818 grams of ice methamphetamine, $21,578.95 in U.S. Currency, drug paraphernalia, 71.3 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, and a small amount of heroin and THC wax. Analysis by the DEA laboratory indicated the methamphetamine seized from Mark was 99% pure methamphetamine.
“This case results from the great work and collaboration of the Morton Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration to keep this highly-addictive drug off the streets of Tazewell and surrounding counties,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine G. Legge. “This highly potent, readily available drug brings out the absolute worst in people and wreaks havoc in our communities. Our focus to keep communities safe by disrupting drug dealers at the top of the food chain will continue.”
According to public records, Mark was on probation in Tazewell County for two methamphetamine-related felonies at the time of this offense and had an active warrant at the time.
Mark was indicted in March 2021 and pleaded guilty in August 2021. Mark has remained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals since her arrest on March 2, 2021.
The statutory penalties for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine in this case were not less than ten years and up to a life term of imprisonment, a five-year to life term of supervised release, and up to $10 million dollar fine.
The Morton Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration investigated the case, with assistance of the Tazewell County State’s Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine G. Legge represented the government in the prosecution.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) National Methamphetamine Strategic Initiative, spearheaded locally out of the Pekin Police Department. The primary goal of this initiative is to address methamphetamine trafficking and its attendant consequences by using a coordinated, multi-agency approach targeting the highest levels of drug trafficking leadership. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.