Belleville man has drug smuggling case dismissed as he's dying, - KMOV.com

Belleville man has drug smuggling case dismissed as he's dying, recovers and goes back to crime

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BELLEVILLE, Il. (KMOV.com) -- A  Belleville man facing federal drug smuggling charges had his case dropped earlier this year while he was dying of congestive heart failure.

However, once the charges were dismissed, he made miraculous recovery and went back to running drugs.

Jeffrey Parker, 56, was on trial for charges stemming from attempts to smuggle cocaine and marijuana across the U.S. border in Texas on March 7.

Prosecutors dropped the case because, with Parker hospitalized for heart failure, there was no guarantee of a speedy trial.

Shortly after, Parker recovered and was caught again with contraband in Laredo, Texas.

On June 7, he was arrested trying to move more than 11 kilograms of cocaine across the border and told officers he was trying to pay off a debt to someone.

Facing four charges of drug smuggling, Parker pleaded guilty this August to one of them; conspiring to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin and fentanyl.

The plea requires a sentence of at least 10 years, but court officials say Parker could be sentenced to life in prison.

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