SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Two federal defendants who were housed at the Sangamon County Jail, in Springfield, Ill., while in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, have been indicted with two others for conspiracy to escape from prison and conspiracy to possess contraband in prison in December 2020. The indictment, returned on Feb. 3, 2021, charges Randy Bull, 38, of Alton, Ill., and James Russwinkel, 36, of Springfield, Ill., both defendants in separate federal drug cases, along with Joshua Beechler, 40, and Allison Poorman, 26, both of Springfield, Ill.
On Aug. 12, 2020, U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Schanzle-Haskins ordered that Bull remain detained related to his federal case in which he is charged with distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine. Russwinkel was ordered detained on Oct. 23, 2020, on federal charges of possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of methamphetamine.
The indictment alleges that from Nov. 16 to Dec. 7, 2020, the four conspired to smuggle contraband items to Bull and Russwinkel in the jail so they could use the items to escape. According to the indictment, Poorman, a friend of Russwinkel, and others, purchased items including a hack saw, saw blades, nylon rope, a pry bar and smoke bombs, and Beechler, an associate of Russwinkel and Poorman, traveled to the jail and delivered the items. Bull and Russwinkel then allegedly used a makeshift rope to pull the items up to their cell through a hole they had cut in a jail cell window.
Each defendant, if convicted, for conspiracy to commit escape of prisoners in custody and conspiracy to possess contraband in prison, faces up to five years in prison. Bull and Russwinkel are also charged with two counts each of possession of contraband in prison, which carries a penalty of up to five to 10 years depending on the type of prohibited object. Beechler and Poorman are also charged with two counts each of providing contraband in prison which carries a penalty of up to five to 10 years in prison depending on the type of prohibited object.
Bull and Russwinkel remain in custody at the Sangamon County jail on federal charges. Beechler and Poorman are currently in custody on related state court charges.
The Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshals Service investigated the charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanner K. Jacobs is representing the government in the prosecution.
Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; each defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.