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URBANA — A convicted felon who had heroin and guns in his home three years ago has been sentenced to 24.5 years in the federal penitentiary.

Quintez L. Turner, 41, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in February to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense, possessing heroin with intent to distribute, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

At his sentencing hearing last week, Judge Colin Bruce found that Turner’s prior criminal record, including three drug-related convictions from Champaign County in 2000, 2005 and 2014, qualified him as a career criminal.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Ritzer presented Bruce with evidence of Turner’s prior heroin dealing and history of violence in hopes of getting him a lengthier sentence.

The charges to which he pleaded guilty stemmed from a Nov. 8, 2018, court-authorized search of an apartment in Champaign where Turner was staying. Drug Enforcement Administration and Champaign County Street Crimes Task Force officers found two guns, including an AR-15-style rifle and a pistol, as well as heroin intended for sale.

Turner has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service since his arrest that day.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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