Friends sentenced to 8 years in drug case

Friends sentenced to 8 years in drug case

URBANA — Two friends who admitted going to Los Angeles to buy cannabis that they intended to sell in Central Illinois have been sentenced to prison.

Antonio Guana, 32, of Mattoon, and Landen Nelson, 31, of the 200 block of West Vermont Avenue, Urbana, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Champaign County Judge Tom Difanis to possession with intent to deliver between 2,000 and 5,000 grams of cannabis.

Each was sentenced to eight years in prison as part of a plea agreement negotiated by their attorneys, Tom Bruno and Mark Lipton respectively, with Assistant State's Attorney Stephanie Weber.

In exchange for their guilty pleas to the Class 1 felony, more serious Class X charges alleging they possessed Ecstasy and cocaine intended for sale were dismissed by Weber. They could have received up to 30 years in prison for those crimes.

Weber said the case started in late February when security officials at the United Parcel Service facility on North Lincoln Avenue found a damaged package spilling dog food. Among the spilling contents were cannabis and controlled substances destined for Nelson's address.

Urbana police got involved and obtained a search warrant on Feb. 28 for Nelson's home, where police found cash, guns, Ecstasy, cannabis and other pills believed to be controlled substances. That was in addition to items in the damaged package which included cannabis, cocaine, hashish and edible brownies and lollipops containing THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

Weber said the men admitted that they pooled their money and flew to Los Angeles, where they bought the items found in the UPS package and shipped them back home to sell.

Weber said the charge to which the men pleaded guilty alleged they possessed just over 5 pounds of cannabis.

Weber said Guana had prior felony convictions for delivery of cannabis and theft while Nelson had one prior felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance.

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