By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man accused of using a storage facility on Quincy's northwest side as a shake-and-bake methamphetamine lab pleaded guilty Monday to a lesser charge.
Todd A. McEwen, 42, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a Class 3 felony. In return for his plea, a more serious charge of unlawful methamphetamine manufacturing, a Class 1 felony, was dismissed. McEwen entered a straight plea, meaning that Judge William Mays can consider all sentencing options when that hearing is held April 24.
McEwen could be sentenced to between two and five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, followed by one year of mandatory supervised release. He is eligible for probation. First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha said that if the Probation Department recommends probation, his office will likely go along with it.
McEwen was arrested on Sept. 9 after methamphetamine was found at a storage facility on Spring Lake Road. Members of the Adams County Sheriff's Department said that an investigation of possible drug activity at the storage unit resulted in the discovery of methamphetamine manufacturing items and some finished product. The West Central Illinois Task Force assisted with the investigation.
Farha said during Monday's plea hearing that McEwen admitted to methamphetamine use.
"He admitted that he made meth, but made it only for himself," Farha said. "He said that he was addicted to meth."
Farha said that McEwen has been getting treatment for his addiction and has been cooperative with authorities.
McEwen has been free since posting 10 percent of a $50,000 bond on Sept. 10.