URBANA — A Rantoul man who had methamphetamine about a year ago has been sentenced to 30 months of probation and drug treatment.
“You’re either going to make it on probation or you’re going to the Department of Corrections,” Judge Roger Webber told William Meek on Thursday.
Meek, 44, whose last known address was in the Fountain Valley Mobile Home Park, pleaded guilty in April to possessing just over 15 grams of meth, which an Urbana police officer recovered during a traffic stop on North Cunningham Avenue on July 18, 2020.
Because of the amount of drugs involved, Meek faced penalties ranging from probation to 15 years in prison. Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Bucher argued for a 12-year prison sentence for Meek, maintaining that the amount of methamphetamine he had was more typical of a dealer than a user.
To persuade the judge, Bucher had an Urbana officer testify about Meek using a stolen credit card in May while awaiting sentencing for the meth possession and having three other unresolved criminal cases. Bucher agreed to dismiss those cases for aggravated driving under the influence, delivery of methamphetamine and possession of a stolen vehicle when Meek pleaded guilty.
The prosecutor also noted that Meek had several previous convictions for burglary, battery, cannabis, obstructing justice and criminal damage to property.
“His history is not the most severe, but it seems he thinks the law doesn’t apply to him,” Bucher said.
Assistant Public Defender Andrea Bergstrom argued that Meek has long struggled with the abuse of multiple kinds of drugs as well as mental illness and has finally admitted that he needs professional help.
“He cannot continue to drown his feelings in out-of-body experiences,” she said.
Webber said he was willing to give Meek a chance at drug treatment in the community but warned him that he faces 15 years in prison if he fails at probation.