Chicago, IL–(ENEWSPF)– Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that CARLOS A. KAMBER, age 39, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in Benton to a total term of 245 months’ imprisonment for his role in a large marijuana manufacturing operation located in Hardin County. Specifically, KAMBER had been charged in a five-count indictment by a federal grand jury with one count of conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants (count 1), manufacture of more than 1,000 marijuana plants (count 2), possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense (count 3), being a felon in possession of a firearm (count 4), and being an unlawful alien in possession of a firearm (count 5). KAMBER pled guilty to those offenses on October 15, 2010.
Evidence offered in support of the guilty pleas and sentencing showed that KAMBER, who was a resident of Chicago and affiliated with the Latin Kings street gang, traveled to Hardin County in the fall of 2008 to assist his associates in that gang in the harvest of over 1,100 marijuana plants which were being grown in a greenhouse located on rural property there. KAMBER assisted in the processing of that marijuana and its transport back to Chicago where it was sold for over $1.5 million. KAMBER returned to Hardin County in the spring of 2009, where he and his associates again planted over 1,000 marijuana plants. KAMBER and another individual remained on the property to tend the plants. KAMBER, who had previously been convicted of multiple felony offenses, acted as a guard for the operation and obtained two firearms to do so. On June 26, 2009, acting on information obtained from a confidential source, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant at the Hardin County property. KAMBER was taken into custody and agents discovered an elaborate indoor grow operation containing over 1,000 marijuana plants. KAMBER was also found to be in possession of two firearms.
In addition to the 245-month term of imprisonment that was imposed, KAMBER was ordered to pay the United States fines and special assessments totaling $750 and was placed on a term of five years of supervised release to following his incarceration.
The investigation into the case is was led by the Carmi office of the Southern Illinois Drug Task Force, with the assistance of the Illinois State Police, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James M. Cutchin.