URBANA — A Rantoul man has been sentenced to 12 years and 7 months in federal prison for distributing heroin in Champaign County.
On Monday afternoon, Judge Michael P. McCuskey sentenced Mark M. Brown, 41, to 151 months in prison, followed by eight years of supervised release.
Brown pleaded guilty on July 8, 2013, to possession of 100 grams or more of heroin with the intent to distribute.
McCuskey also ordered Brown to undergo a residential drug treatment program while he is in prison.
During his time of supervised release, McCuskey said Brown will be prohibited from possessing alcohol or any drug not prescribed by a doctor. He will also be prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition.
Brown was arrested in February 2013 as a result of a federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Investigation in cooperation with the Champaign Police Department and state police.
McCuskey noted that Brown had two previous felony drug convictions and that he had served time in the Department of Corrections four times.
“Congress says 100 grams of heroin gets you a minimum of 10 years even if it is your first offense,” he said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller argued for a sentence of 183 months in prison.
“Heroin is a very dangerous drug,” Miller said. “It results in overdoses, and it results in deaths.”
Miller said Brown ran a heroin operation that involved bringing heroin from Chicago and distributing it to others in Champaign County.
Miller also said that, while Brown has six children, Brown used proceeds from the heroin sales to buy more heroin, rather than pay for child support.
Prior to sentencing, Brown apologized for his actions.
“What I done was wrong,” he said. “I have tried to right the wrong, and I have to live with what I done.
“I can’t redo what I done, but I understand I am not a monster.”
Brown said he became a heroin addict when he was 18 years old.
“Heroin became a friend to the point that I wanted to die. When I speak to my father, I can hear the disappointment in his voice.
“Where do I go once I have done my time and return? How do I live? What happens to my children?
“To my family, I would like to apologize to you. I am sorry that I let you down. I love you all, and I appreciate your love and support.”
“You’ve got another 40 years to live,” McCuskey said. “We’re not talking about the rest of your life. After four or five times in prison, you set yourself up for this position. This needs to be the last time you are in court.”