PONTIAC -- Three men from the Chicago area each could face up to 80 years in prison if convicted on drug charges after police found half a pound of cocaine in their vehicle during a traffic stop earlier this week on Interstate 55.
Demarcus Triplett, 34, and David Walker, 43, both of Chicago, and Tavell Jackson, 28, of Maywood are each charged with unlawful possession with intent to deliver more than 100 grams but less than 400 grams of cocaine, a Class X felony, according to court records.
The three men were arrested around 8:12 p.m. Wednesday on southbound Interstate 55 near Odell after being pulled over for allegedly driving unusually and because Triplett, the driver, had a suspended license, First Assistant State’s Attorney Carey Luckman said in during a court hearing Friday.
Upon inspection, trace amounts of marijuana were found in the car, and Walker allegedly had about 250 grams of cocaine in his possession, authorities said.
Luckman said the men’s stories were inconsistent upon arrest, and they said something about driving to Peoria to exchange vehicles.
Livingston County Sheriff Bob McCarty, whose department made the arrest, said Friday that an estimated value for the cocaine was around $25,000.
The three men were visibly upset Friday in court, where Jackson denied involvement.
“I had zero percent to do with this your honor,” Jackson told Livingston County Circuit Judge Harold Frobish.
The three men’s criminal histories mean they would have to spend a minimum of nine years in prison if convicted, with a maximum of 80 years and a $1 million fine each.
Preliminary hearings have been set for Monday for Walker and Wednesday for Jackson and Triplett.
The three men were being held Friday at the Livingston County Jail in lieu of posting $25,000 for Jackson and $50,000 for Triplett and Walker.