U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced today that attorney Robert A. Drew, 68, of Marion, Illinois, was indicted today with attempting to provide heroin to an inmate at the Federal Correctional Complex located in Terre Haute, Indiana.
The indictment is the result of a joint investigation by the FBI, the Bureau of Prisons, the Terre Haute Police Department, and the Vigo County Sheriffâ€™s Department.
Drew was arrested on August 28, 2010, after authorities received information that an attorney was allegedly bringing drugs into the prison. FBI and other law enforcement officials stopped and questioned Drew when he drove his Mercedes onto the parking lot of the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex. A green leafy substance was recovered from Drewâ€™s vehicle, which was later determined to be marijuana. When questioned further, Drew allegedly produced a package which had been taped to his body. The package was wrapped in black duct tape and inserted into a condom and purportedly contained two small plastic bags containing about 52 grams of a dark tar-like substance which field tested positive for the presence of black tar heroin.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney James M. Warden, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Drew faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An initial hearing will be scheduled in Terre Haute, Indiana, before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.
Investigators believes Drew may have transferred drugs to inmates at the federal prison on at least 3 or 4 other occasions.
Drew is a Maine native who represented quite a few high profile clients since he moved to Marion, Illinois in 1976. He spent most of his career in Southern Illinois and was appointed as a judge to the First Judicial Circuit on August 1, 1995. He lost the seat following the 1996 election.Â He also held posts within the Williamson County Democratic Party, in addition to his private practice.
Drew told police in Vigo County, Indiana, this past weekend that he was delivering marijuana and heroin to a federal inmate because he and his family had been threatened. That inmate is identified as Benjamin Kramer, a kingpin in a 1980â€™s era drug ring that trafficked several tons of marijuana into the U.S. through shipping ports, netting Kramer more than $60 million.
Before an Indiana judge Monday, Drew said he hid the drugs in his Mercedes, and drove to Evansville with his wife, where they spent the night at a casino. Drew then drove to Terre Haute, and stopped at a gas station so he could tape the drugs to his body.
He hid the 52 grams of heroin in two condoms. Drew said other packages had been mailed to him in the past. He then smuggled those drugs into the prison, following orders he received from anonymous callers.