Illinois man pleads guilty to trafficking methamphetamine.
Dustin Test, 39, from Peoria, Illinois, was sentenced this January to 190 months in prison that will be followed by eight years of supervised release “for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute,” according to court documents. Test was indicted in September of 2020, after he supposedly worked with other associates to resell large amounts of ice methamphetamine.
At his sentencing hearing, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Shadid said Test was in foster care for part of his childhood, noting some of the trauma he experienced that was taken into consideration by the court to determine his time behind bars. Test’s criminal history, which included several convictions for aggravated battery, forgery, and residential burglary was discussed, with the court leveraging his crimes against his sordid past.
Test was indicted in September 2020 and pleaded guilty in July 2021. At one point in his scheme, he and an associate purchased three pounds of ice meth. The statutory penalties for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine with Test’s prior felony convictions made the sentence not less than ten years and up to forty years of imprisonment.
The case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF)’s National Methamphetamine Strategic Initiative in Peoria and elsewhere which is meant to address methamphetamine trafficking.
A 2021 JAMA Psychiatry study noted that methamphetamine overdose deaths have risen sharply during the past eight-year period, and like other drugs, use has risen during the pandemic. The research, conducted at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, explained that the increase in use has spanned all racial and ethnic groups, but American Indians and Alaska Natives had the highest death rates overall.
“While much attention is focused on the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis has been quietly, but actively, gaining steam, particularly among American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are disproportionately affected by a number of health conditions,” said Nora D. Volkow, M.D., NIDA director and a senior author. “American Indian and Alaska Native populations experience structural disadvantages but have cultural strengths that can be leveraged to prevent methamphetamine use and improve health outcomes for those living with addiction.”
The same study found a high fatality rate among non-Hispanic American Indians and Alaska Natives, as well as higher overdose deaths in men compared to women within each racial/ethnic group. Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native women had higher rates than non-Hispanic Black, Asian, or Hispanic men from 2012 to 2018. The results explain that non-Hispanic Blacks had the sharpest increases in overdose death rates during 2011 to 2018. These high rates make meth an especially dangerous and deadly drug.
“Identifying populations that have a higher rate of methamphetamine overdose is a crucial step toward curbing the underlying methamphetamine crisis,” said Dr. Beth Han, another author. “By focusing on the unique needs of individuals and developing culturally tailored interventions, we can begin to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches and toward more effective, tailored interventions.”