New drug charges against Urbana man on probation for heroin trafficking | Courts-police-fire
CHARLESTON – A man from Urbana sentenced to four years’ probation two months ago for heroin trafficking in Champaign County has returned to jail for committing the same crime in another county.
Chernenko Smith, 35, who was last living on Austin Drive, was arrested Wednesday morning by members of the East Central Illinois task force in Charleston after he was allegedly found near a bag containing more than a pound methamphetamine in this town.
Champaign County Assistant State Attorney Chris McCallum said Thursday that, based on information he had received from police and Coles County prosecutors, he had filed a motion to revoke the probation that Judge Roger Webber had imposed on Smith in early June.
Smith had pleaded guilty to selling heroin in June 2020 at a house on Sheridan Drive in Champaign. When local police found the drugs, they also found a loaded handgun and documents linking Smith to the heroine.
He pleaded guilty in Champaign County in April to a Class 2 felony and more serious charges were dismissed in return. McCallum requested a five-year prison sentence for Smith, who risked three to 14 years based on his record, which included other convictions for recklessly discharging a firearm, household battery, agent resistance of peace and manufacture or delivery of heroin.
Smith told Webber that the birth of his fourth child, which came while he was in prison awaiting trial, made him want to change his ways. Webber then sentenced him to probation and ordered him to do 100 hours of public service, get an addiction assessment and treatment, and make up for child support for one of his four children.
The Coles County State Attorney’s Office on Friday charged Smith with delivering 400 to 900 grams of methamphetamine, a Class X felony with sentences ranging from eight to 40 years if convicted.
McCallum said when Charleston Police approached Smith he allegedly threw a bag containing 567 grams of methamphetamine in the weeds nearby. He told police he didn’t look in the bag, but McCallum said it contained a document from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office with Smith’s name on it.
Smith was being held in Coles County Jail on Saturday in lieu of $ 250,000 bail. He is due to return to Charleston court on August 16.
It is not known when Smith will be sent back to Champaign County to be brought to justice on the petition to revoke his probation. Webber warned Smith in June that if he broke the law while on probation, he could face 14 years in prison.