Man convicted of drug, weapon offenses faces lengthy prison sentence

URBANA — A man convicted of having cocaine apparently intended for sale and a weapon faces six to 30 years in prison when sentenced in July.

On Thursday, a Champaign County jury convicted Joseph Warren, 53, who listed addresses on North Busey Avenue in Urbana and previously on Carver Drive in Champaign, of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a weapon by a felon.

Assistant State's Attorney Dan Clifton said during a three-day trial before Judge Heidi Ladd, jurors learned that Champaign police arrested Warren on March 18, 2011, after he and co-defendant Kimberly Rosas, 27, whose last known address was on North Busey Avenue, Urbana, left the Red Roof Inn on Anthony Drive in Champaign.

In a search of the car, they found a pistol in Rosas' purse that had Warren's DNA on it, Clifton said.

When officers were interviewing her at the police station, she asked to use the restroom. Officers found inside the toilet she used 2.6 grams of crack cocaine that she had apparently concealed inside her body.

Officers then got a search warrant for the motel room and found an additional 4.6 grams of crack cocaine, packaging materials for drugs and .25-caliber ammunition.

Warren remains in the county jail pending his sentencing July 2. Rosas, charged with possession of a controlled substance in that case, is due back in court June 5.

The day before Warren's jury trial started, Clifton filed additional charges against Warren for delivery of a controlled substance in connection with alleged sales of drugs on March 20 and April 13 in cases that were investigated by the Champaign County Sheriff's Office. If convicted of those, he would have to serve any sentence consecutive to the one Ladd will give him in July. And he also faces six to 30 years in prison on those charges.

Clifton also filed possession with intent to deliver controlled substance charges against Rosas for the March 20 and April 13 cases. She's being held in lieu of $35,000 bond and is scheduled to be back in court on that case June 5 as well.

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