DEA arrests Morrison woman as she enters court to facefelony drug charges

by San Eli News

MORRISON – A 29-year-old Morrison woman was arrested by federal drug enforcement agents Wednesday, likely in connection with a pair of criminal felony drug charges she already faces in Whiteside County.

Brittiny M. Starr, free on bail since late May, was arrested outside of the Whiteside County Courthouse in Morrison Wednesday afternoon by authorities with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Starr, who was due in court for a

1:30 p.m. pretrial conference, arrived to the courthouse but did not make it past the indoor security checkpoint, according to Whiteside County Sheriff’s deputies who witnessed her arrest.

Before she could reach the door, DEA authorities stopped Starr and placed her in their custody, the deputies said.

Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker confirmed that a federal warrant was issued for Starr’s arrest and that DEA authorities had executed it, but could not share details on the federal charges the warrant references.

As of Wednesday evening, no charging documents against Starr had been filed in U.S. District Court.

Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Rockford and in Davenport could not immediately be reached for comment.

Officials with the DEA Office in Rockford also could not immediately be reached for comment.

Starr’s arrest is likely related to a pair of Class X Felonies she was charged with Jan. 27 in Whiteside County.

Those criminal drug felonies include one count of unlawful possession of 100 to 400 grams of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of 100 to 400 grams of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Starr pleaded not guilty to the two counts on April 6, after she was ruled fit to stand trial in March by 14th Judicial Circuit Presiding Judge Trish A. Senneff.

Starr’s original bond of $100,000 was reduced to $20,000 on May 20, and the same day, she posted the 10% necessary for her release.

Proceedings in her case have largely been postponed since then because of court constraints related to the coronavirus.

Inside the courtroom where Starr was scheduled to appear Wednesday, Senneff had not been told of Starr’s arrest before calling her case, leading her to wonder if the court had “lost her” and to acknowledge that Starr was “MIA.”

A bailiff notified Senneff of Star’s arrest, and Senneff continued the case until Nov. 25.

If convicted of the two felonies, Starr could face fines of up to $300,000 and a mandatory minimum combined sentence of 15 to 70 years in state prison.