Springfield ‑ A Menard county man, Charles Brackhan, 40, of Greenview, Ill., made his initial appearance in federal court following his arrest Wednesday night on federal drug and gun charges. Brackhan appeared before U.S. District Sue E. Myerscough, and was ordered to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending a detention hearing scheduled on Dec. 10, 2013. A trial date has been set for February 4, 2014. The four-count indictment against Brackhan was returned by a grand jury last month, but had remained sealed pending Brackhan's arrest and initial court appearance.
The indictment alleges that on Mar. 19, 2013, Brackhan was manufacturing 50 or more marijuana plants at a home on Sweetwater Avenue in rural Greenview, Ill. Further, the indictment alleges that Brackhan discharged a firearm, a Keltec 9mm handgun, in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and that he was a controlled substance user in possession of a handgun.
If convicted, for the offense of manufacture of 50 or more marijuana plants (one count) and for using or maintaining a building for the purpose of manufacturing marijuana (one count), the penalty is up to 20 years in prison. For discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, the penalty is a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and up to life in prison which must be served consecutive to any other penalty. For possession of a firearm by a controlled substance user, the penalty is up to 10 years in prison.
The charges are the result of an ongoing investigation by the Illinois State Police; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and, the Menard County Sheriff's Office, with the assistance of the Greenview Police Department and the Athens Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan D. Freres is prosecuting the case in the Central District of Illinois, in coordination with the Menard County State's Attorney's Office.