MT. VERNON, IL — Just days before he was scheduled to stand trial, a 32-year-old Mt. Vernon man pleaded guilty to two of the three drug and weapons charges against him. Demario Bell was charged in Jefferson County Court with three Class X felony charges – two for being an armed habitual criminal and one for delivery of between 15 and 100 grams of cocaine. He pleaded guilty Thursday to the armed habitual criminal and cocaine delivery charges in exchange for the second armed habitual criminal charge being dismissed.
Bell was arrested in November after the Mt. Vernon Police Department/Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Joint Narcotics Unit developed information indicating illegal narcotics were being sold from a residence at 1013 South 7th in Mt. Vernon. Detectives applied for and received a Jefferson County search warrant for the home and during the search; narcotics detectives located 38 grams of crack cocaine, a loaded handgun and narcotics packaging materials. The handgun was determined to be stolen from Centralia.
A jury trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday. Bell is now set to be sentenced in the case on April 21st.