A 28-year-old Illinois man has been sentenced to four years in prison followed by two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to drug trafficking charges in Jackson County. Officers with the City of Carbondale Police Department took the man into custody in July 2016 after receiving a tip from Amtrak investigators. The man’s brother had earlier been sentenced to four years of probation after admitting to possessing marijuana.

Amtrak investigators are said to have told police that the man’s brother was using a Chicago to Carbondale train to transport drugs. Police set up a surveillance operation at the Carbondale Amtrak station, and they claim to have observed the man’s brother exit the train carrying a large black duffel bag. Police say the man’s brother then got into a car driven by the man.

Police claim to have detected the odor of burnt marijuana when they pulled the man’s car over, and a subsequent search of the man’s brother is said to have yielded about 35 grams of marijuana. A further five pounds of the drug were found in the duffel bag, and currency totaling $3,399 was discovered in the vehicle’s center console according to police. The man allegedly admitted to police that he was a marijuana dealer and had earned the money selling the drug.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may urge their clients in the strongest terms to make no admissions or statements to police officers before securing legal representation. Criminal suspects often feel the need to explain themselves to police or believe that cooperation will lead to more lenient treatment, but even the most compelling accounts are unlikely to elicit much in the way of sympathy. Cases involving drug charges are often difficult and costly to prosecute, and defense attorneys may offer to settle these matters quickly in return for leniency when the evidence against their clients is strong.