Big Drug Bust in Southern Illinois, Eight Caught

Estimated read time 4 min read

Last Wednesday, the FBI from Springfield told us they caught eight people. These folks were part of a big drug dealing network that spread across southern Illinois and tied to Mexico. The Southern Illinois Transnational Organized Crime West team put an end to this operation, striking a blow to drug dealing.


Arrest Info

A bunch of arrests happened in April. People got nabbed for having and selling meth and fentanyl. You know, these drugs mess up lives and can kill you.

Who Got Arrested,

  • Jackie Scanlan from Centralia, Illinois They’re facing two charges for trying to sell methamphetamine and fentanyl.
  • Mark Hills from Salem, Illinois Faces charges for possessing meth with plans to sell it, twice over.
  • Matthew Campbell of Keyesport, Illinois Accused of selling meth twice.
  • Denzel McChristian of St. Louis, Missouri (used to live in Centralia, IL) Got charged for selling meth once.
  • Karie Holstlaw of Centralia, Illinois Charged with one count of peddling meth.
  • Sherry Dent from Germantown, Illinois Charged for having meth and fentanyl with the intent to distribute them, five separate times.
  • Dennis Conway of Vandalia, Illinois Facing charges for wanting to deal both meth and fentanyl, two counts.
  • Jeffrey Steinkamp also from Vandalia – He’s up against two charges for dealing out methamphetamine.



Effect on Folks ’round Town.’

“Nasty drugs are snatching too many lives right under our noses, we are dedicated to fighting the criminals who live in our communities,” said Shannon Fontenot, who is second-in-command at the FBI’s Springfield office. She repeated that their main goal is to break up drug gangs, which is key for protecting people from the crime and ruin drugs can bring.


Joint Effort

The mission went really well thanks to different police groups working together. The FBI in St. Louis, along with local cops from Mt. Vernon, Carlyle, Centralia and Germantown and sheriff’s departments from Fayette, Clinton Bond Jefferson, and Marion counties they were all part of it. This shows just how tangled and spread-out drug dealing networks are, needing a bunch of agencies to take them on.


About TOCW

The Southern Illinois Transnational Organized Crime West Task Force was made to fight Cracking down on high-level crime, the task force goes after bigtime criminal rings. They tackle major crimes like drug dealing, dirty money schemes, murder, blackmail, abductions and government corruption. The team zeroes in on big drug plots that usually stretch over many states and even countries.


Future Steps

The accused are now waiting for their day in court while the task force is hot on the trail of other possible players in this crime network. They’re dead set on tearing apart these drug dealing rackets that have been running wild, aiming to bring back peace and order to the neighborhoods hit hardest.


Community Involvement

In the wake of these crackdowns, cops are highlighting just how key it is for folks to stay alert and work with them. People living in these areas should keep their eyes peeled and report anything fishy they spot because hints dropped by locals can be super helpful.

The FBI is keen to get help from the public in their current investigations. They’re asking folks to reach out directly by calling 1800 CALLFBI or using their online tipoff form at If you’re knocking around the Springfield area, give your local FBI office a buzz on 2175229675.


Broader Implications

This case really shines a light on how drug trafficking poses a massive risk to our safety and health. By going after the big players that spread these nasty substances, teams like TOCW and their buddies are super crucial in America’s fight against organized crime. They’re our frontline defense against the wave of drug fueled violence and addiction.



This huge drug bust isn’t just a win for the cops. It’s also a ray of hope for neighborhoods wrestling with drug troubles. It shows us that when law enforcement joins forces, they can really make headway and keep up the fight against the damage drugs due to our communities.

Drug smuggling in Southern Illinois and beyond is under investigation. As this case moves forward, we expect to learn more about how these drug rings work. This could give us important tips on how to fight the drug trade better.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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