Centralia man arrested on federal drug charges   

Centralia man arrested on federal drug charges   

Centralia Police High-Risk Entry and Arrest team takes Michael Lawson into custody Wednesday morning on a new federal drug warrant.

A 47-year-old Centralia man has been arrested on federal drug charges.

Michael Lawson was taken into custody at his home in the 500 block of North Locust Street by the Centralia Police Department’s High-Risk Entry and Arrest team around 7:45 Wednesday morning.  The federal indictment charges possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

The department is now seeking a federal search warrant of his home based on evidence observed at the time of his arrest.

Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson says it was decided to pursue a Federal indictment against Lawson due to his extensive criminal history.  Lawson has 24 charges and six convictions for dangerous drugs, two charges and two convictions for weapons offenses, one charge and one conviction for burglary as well as multiple other arrests for other offenses.

The Centralia Police Department has developed a partnership with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois.  Centralia Police will be identifying cases and subjects like Lawson that qualify for Federal prosecution where sentencing guidelines for the offenses are much more stringent than the state statute.   Another advantage is once convicted and sentenced to the Federal Prison system, an inmate is detained at a higher percentage of the time they were sentenced to than the state prison system.

Dodson feels the federal partnership will be a key component to combating drug trafficking and violent crime in Centralia.   He says this will also help take the pressure off of the state court system allowing them to better focus on the majority of our cases that will still be referred to the state court system.