EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is linked with the story title "Pekin family mourns loss of synthetic cannabis victim," which can be found by clicking here.
Two Pekin men and a Pekin woman are being held in the Tazewell County Justice Center in connection with the deaths and illnesses connected to synthetic cannabis in the Pekin and Peoria area.
Lonnie K. Smith, 36, of 2028 Westgate Drive, Pekin, according to Tazewell County Circuit Court documents, is charged with drug induced homicide, a Class X felony punishable by six to 30 years in prison; and aggravated battery and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony punishable by four to 15 years. His bond is set at $100,000.
According to the probable cause statement provided by the Tazewell County States Attorney’s office, Smith knowingly delivered FUB-AMB, a controlled substance, to Anthony Phillips of Pekin, who ingested it around 11 p.m. April 7. He died at UnityPoint Health-Methodist in Peoria April 9. The medical examiner’s preliminary report said Phillips died of intracranial bleeding.
Smith is also being charged with aggravated battery for delivering the substance to Rena Corp, who lived with Phillips, because she got sick after ingesting it. Her symptoms were bloody urine and bloody mouth sores, according to court documents.
On April 8, Pekin Police and medical personnel were dispatched to the home Corp and Phillips shared. After ingesting synthetic cannabis the night before, Phillips woke up with severe stomach pain and was vomiting blood, according to court records. He and Corp, who was also suffering from symptoms, were transported to UnityPoint Health-Pekin and later transported to UnityPoint Health-Methodist in Peoria.
In a separate case, Smith is charged with the manufacture and delivery of synthetic drugs, a Class X felony. Court records indicate that Pekin police interviewed Smith on April 10 regarding the deaths related to synthetic drugs and Smith allegedly admitted that he had been selling K-2. Smith told officers he had thrown some of the K-2 in a dumpster at a nearby Casey’s General Store in Pekin. Officers found more than 7,000 grams of K-2 where Smith indicated it would be.
A prosecutor in the bond hearing asked for a bond of $500,000, with 10 percent to apply, which means Smith could have bonded out after posting $50,000. Under the $100,000 bond, Smith is eligible to get out of jail after posting $10,000.
Phillips’ sister-in-law said she was not happy with the outcome of the bond hearing.
“The bond is set way too low,” said Becky Phillips of Bartonville. “I think he deserves the max penalty.
“He knew what he was doing. Anthony was my brother-in-law, and he was in a lot of pain. I just believe (Smith) deserves a lot more than this. I’m here for my brother-in-law and my family, and I’m standing up for them.”
In addition to the Smith's charges, law enforcement closed in on a second operation this week.
Richard I. Booth, 26, of 223 Sunnyridge Court, Pekin, is charged with the manufacture and delivery of FUB-AMB, a Schedule I controlled substance, a Class X felony. Rachel Spires, who has no age or known address on the court records, is charged with manufacture and delivery of FUB-AMB, a Class X felony; and aggravated battery and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony.
According to court records, Peoria police notified Pekin police of numerous people at UnityPoint Health-Pekin receiving treatment for K-2/ spice overdoses. Officers spoke to a patient at the hospital and Spires, Booth’s girlfriend, was indicated as a source of the drug. Pekin officers set up surveillance of Spires’ home. They spoke with Spires’ mother who told police that Spires had asked her to hold $1,000 for her and that she saw multiple packets of synthetic cannabis in the home.
Officers found more than 2,000 grams of a substance that tested positive for FUB-AMB, $6,000 in cash, a scale and 435 bags ready for delivery. Booth’s bond is $75,000 and Spires’ bond is $25,000.