U-S District Judge Michael McCuskey handed a Paxton man a 30-year prison term Wednesday. 32-year-old Eddi "Migo" Ramirez was labeled a ringleader in drug-trafficking circles. Federal prosecutors said Ramirez master-minded a drug network, importing large amounts of cocaine and heroin from Mexico for distribution throughout Central Illinois.
Judge McCuskey called the 32-year-old Ramirez an "All-Star" in the game of drug dealing, adding that this was the biggest drug case he has presided over in his 26 years as a judge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Bass, who prosecuted Ramirez and 13 co-defendants in the U.S. Court's Central District of Illinois, said Ramirez is the largest drug dealer in some 20 years.
A 12-member jury convicted Ramirez in February of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and distribution of cocaine — charges that could have landed him in prison for the rest of his life.
Reports of large hail and damaging winds swept across parts of Illiana Wednesday afternoon. East central Illinois and parts of west-central Indiana experienced the stormy weather. Rotation was reported in clouds and the NWS was busy trying to determine if funnel cloud reports had any merit.
The National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm warnings for Vermilion, Champaign, Piatt and Douglas counties.
Some widespread hail damage was reported in some areas. Trained spotters reported 3-inch hailstones in Tuscola. Near Rossville in northern Vermilion County trained spotters reported hail nearly 2-inches in diameter. There were also reports of 2-inch hail just north of Danville.
Hail in the ping-pong ball size range was reported at Monticello and Champaign. There were also wind gusts of 63-miles per hour at Willard Airport at Savoy.
AAA Travel projects 36.1 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 1.5 percent increase from the 35.5 million people who traveled last year. Kicking off the summer driving season, more than eight in ten travelers will be driving to their destinations. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 22 to Monday, May 26.
In Illinois, 1.9 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend, which is a one percent increase from 2013. Of those travelers, 1.7 million will be driving (up .5 percent from 2013) and 100,000 will be flying to their destination (a 4.3 percent increase from 2013). Gas prices across Illinois are on average $3.78, down from $3.98 in 2013.
In Indiana, 800,000 people are expected to travel, which is a 1.1 percent increase from 2013. Of those, 720,000 are expected to travel by auto (.6 percent increase) and about 43,000 by air (4.2 percent increase). In Indiana, gas prices are on average $3.66 per gallon, down from $3.77 this time last year. The average price nationally for gas is $3.65.