By ROB PHILLIPS
WOODSTOCK – Damen Jones agreed to drive his cousin and $16,600 worth of crack cocaine to McHenry County last year for $100 because he needed money for his mother’s Christmas gift, Jones’ attorney and prosecutors said Wednesday.
Jones, 22, of North Chicago, pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony drug-possession charges and was sentenced to two years’ probation. De’Andre L. Thompson, who prosecutors said was more to blame in the crime, was sentenced to six years in prison last week.
The 170 grams of crack that police bought from the men over a 45-day span resulted in the county’s largest-ever crack cocaine bust, police have said.
Jones’ attorney, George Kililis, said his client’s involvement in the crime was minimal, and that he believed that Jones’ sentence was appropriate.
“I wish I could have gotten him out [of jail] earlier,” Kililis said. “He is a good kid, and his level of culpability is clearly less than [Thompson], who is going [to prison] for six years.”
Jones pleaded guilty to possession of more than 15 grams of a controlled substance. Jones was given credit for spending 212 days in the McHenry County Jail, and he was ordered to not use any drugs or alcohol, pay more than $4,500 in fines and court costs, and undergo substance abuse treatment.
In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of possession of more than 15 grams of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.
Jones could have faced a maximum 30 years in prison.
Jones’ father, who was a lieutenant with the North Chicago police department, died of lung cancer July 5, Kililis and prosecutors said.
Thompson pleaded guilty in April to two counts of possession of more than 15 grams of cocaine and one count of possession of less than 15 grams of cocaine with the intent to deliver.
McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather sentenced Thompson on Friday.