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DANVILLE — A Mattoon man who was part of a significant methamphetamine transaction last summer in Vermilion County has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Brett Magana, 24, pleaded guilty Thursday before Judge Derek Girton to possession of between 15 and 100 grams of methamphetamine, admitting he had the drug Aug. 13 when he fled from a Vermilion County sheriff’s deputy trying to stop him for an alleged traffic violation.

State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy said instead of stopping, his vehicle sped off, going more than 100 mph before crashing.

Magana later told drug agents with the Illinois State Police’s Vermilion Metropolitan Enforcement Group that co-defendant Caleb Hackler, 35, of Mattoon had held a gun to his head and threatened to shoot him if Magana didn’t try to outrun deputies.

Both men bailed out of the vehicle and ran but were caught not long after.

In the vehicle, police found guns, more than 150 grams of methamphetamine and identification belonging to both men.

Police also found a discarded bulletproof vest that Magana said Hackler was wearing.

Lacy said Magana also admitted to police that he and Hackler were on a “business move,” meaning in the midst of a drug transaction.

As part of Magana’s plea agreement, the state agreed to dismiss other more-serious methamphetamine possession and delivery charges and weapons charges if he agrees to testify truthfully against Hackler.

His case is set to be back in court Feb. 8.

Another provision of his plea agreement, according to court files, is that if Magana testifies against Hackler, the federal government will not file charges against him for the same offense. Penalties in the federal system are often much harsher.

Magana is eligible for day-for-day good time on his sentence and has already served 153 days in jail.


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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