St. Clair County man sentenced to federal prison on drug and weapons charges

A U.S. district judge ordered a Cahokia Heights man to spend 15 years and eight months in federal prison after he admitted to distributing fentanyl and methamphetamine and possessing crack cocaine with the intent to distribute the drugs in St. Clair County.

Nickolas Shannon, 29, previously pleaded guilty in the U.S. Court for the Southern District of Illinois to one count of felon in possession of a firearm and three counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Upon release from federal prison, he will serve five years of supervised release, according to sentencing documents.

“Fentanyl is poisoning our communities at an alarming rate, and we’re confronting the crisis in southern Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “Individuals found responsible for distributing illicit drugs can and will be subjected to steep federal prison sentences.”

According to court documents, DEA agents began investigating Shannon for distributing controlled substances in December 2021 based on information from a confidential source. Undercover sources working with DEA bought 5.4 grams of fentanyl and 6.883 grams of methamphetamine from Shannon on two separate occasions in St. Clair County. Shortly after, agents arrested Shannon and conducted a search warrant on his apartment.

During the search, agents located 1.735 grams of cocaine base, 1.162 grams of cocaine and 2.9 grams of fentanyl as well as drug paraphernalia and three loaded and unsecured firearms, including an AR-15 rifle.

Further DEA investigation revealed that Shannon was responsible for the distribution of nearly 300 grams of fentanyl, a release from the court said.

DEA led the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel S. Carraway prosecuted the case.