Metro-East News

Drug dealer gets prison after harassing prosecutor and judge

A 48-year-old Sauget man has received more than six years in federal prison for dealing crack cocaine, after engaging in what the U.S. Attorney’s Office described as “repeated acts of obstructive conduct” that delayed his sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Donald Boyce said the defendant, Eric J. Simpson, was indicted in June 2015 on charges of distributing cocaine. He had sold drugs to a confidential informant six times earlier that year, including 80.1 grams of crack cocaine. After securing a warrant, federal agents searched Simpson’s home and found several loaded firearms, ammunition and drugs.

Before Simpson was set to be sentenced, Boyce said the defendant filed “numerous frivolous motions” challenging the court’s jurisdiction. Boyce said Simpson also wasn’t able to work with three different lawyers and had sent harassing messages to the prosecutor and judge on the case. Boyce said Simpson’s conduct had caused his sentencing to be delayed and for his bond to be revoked last September.

The court added a sentencing enhancement for obstructing justice, and Simpson was ordered last week to spend six and a half years in prison. He was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, a $100 special assessment and will be on supervised release for three years.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Weinhoeft in the Southern District of Illinois.