Created on Saturday, 11 May 2013 Written by JOEL E. MAST
Coordinating drug arrests in multiple counties has paid off for the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force now that a convicted heroin courier has been sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison.
Lawrence Ratleff Jr., 55, currently in prison, was sentenced this week in Champaign County on third-degree felony charges of possession of heroin and tampering with evidence.
He was given two years on the possession charge and one year on the other but the sentences will run concurrently.
However, the Champaign County sentences will begin once the defendant completes an eight-sentence from Union County.
There, he pleaded guilty to two second-degree felony counts of possession of heroin.
The cases against the convict came after a lengthy investigation into his drug trafficking throughout Logan County in 2012, the task force reports.
Working with the Drug Enforcement Agency and Union County’s drug task force, investigators here passed along intelligence that led to three separate traffic stops in Union and Champaign counties between late October and early November.
Each time he was apprehended traveling with narcotics, primarily heroin. The investigation covered more than five counties.
In March, his trial in Champaign County commenced on one first-degree felony charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt behavior; two second-degree felony counts of possession of heroin; two second-degree felony counts of trafficking in heroin; two third-degree felony counts of tampering with evidence; and two fifth-degree felony counts of possession of criminal tools.
The defendant and his attorney accepted a plea agreement after the first day of his trial.
More than 270 packaged units of heroin were recovered in the traffic stops.