Mount Sterling man charged with two Class X felonies for smuggling drugs, cellphone into prison


MOUNT STERLING, Ill. — A Mount Sterling man who formerly worked as a carpenter at the Western Illinois Correctional Center has been charged with three felonies in connection with smuggling drugs and a cellphone into the Mount Sterling prison.

Illinois State Police arrested Joshua D. Havens, 49, on Feb. 21 as part of an investigation into reports of contraband being brought into the prison. However, Havens wasn’t formally charged until April 26. The charges stem from incidents that occurred on Nov. 30, 2023.

Havens is accused of two counts of unauthorized bringing of contraband into a penal institution by an employee. Both counts are Class X felonies, punishable for between six and 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Brown County State’s Attorney Michael Hill told the Jacksonville Journal-Courier that one count alleges Havens brought in controlled substances, and the other alleges he brought in a cellphone. 

Havens also has been charged with the manufacturing and distribution of a look-alike substance with intent to deliver, a Class 3 felony punishable for between two and five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Hill told the Journal-Courier that Havens is accused of trying to bring into the prison 100 pills that looked like a controlled substance but were not.

The investigation, conducted by the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Corrections, is ongoing.

Robert Hanauer will represent Havens when he makes his first appearance in Brown County Circuit Court on Monday before Circuit Judge Jerry Hooker.

Naomi Puzzello, public information officer for the Department of Corrections, told the Journal-Courier that Havens resigned on March 1.

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