10 years in prison for heroin, weapons possession for arrest near Elgin

Updated 5/22/2018 2:43 PM
  • Nathaniel Simmons can have his 10-year prison term cut in half for good behavior.

    Nathaniel Simmons can have his 10-year prison term cut in half for good behavior.

A 33-year-old Wisconsin man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to possessing nearly $10,000 of heroin, a gun and other contraband during an April 2017 traffic stop on Interstate 90.

Nathaniel Simmons, of Fitchburg, was charged with felony armed violence, possession of 100 to 400 grams of heroin, his second offense of possession of a firearm by a felon, and other felonies after a traffic stop April 9 near Hampshire, according to Kane County court record and state police.

Simmons pleaded guilty to possession of 15 to 100 grams of heroin and the weapons charge in exchange for prosecutors dismissing other more severe charges, records show.

Judge Clint Hull accepted the plea, which also requires Simmons to pay $11,730 in fines and fees, including a $9,700 drug fine, records show.

Simmons was pulled over for following another vehicle too closely, police said. In the traffic stop, according to police and court records, authorities found a 9 mm handgun, two cellphones and heroin packaged in plastic bags.

Prosecutors also noted Simmons' two previous felony drug convictions in Cook County and speculated he, and his passenger, Taffinesha Strickland, 27, of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, were headed to Madison to deliver drugs, according to court records.

Strickland faces similar charges, and was cited for obstructing identification after police said she initially provided a false name.

Under state law, Simmons can have his sentence cut in half for good behavior while in prison. He also gets credit for about 13 months served at the Kane County jail while the case was pending.

Strickland is free after posting $3,000 of her $30,000 bail and is next due in court June 15. If convicted of the most severe charge, she faces between six to 30 years in prison.

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