Two Plead Not Guilty to Felony Drug Charges

Two Galesburg residents have pleaded not guilty to charges accusing them of making methamphetamine in a home that was destroyed by fire a month ago.

46-year-old Michelle Esp and 27-year-old Richard Garza both pleaded not guilty in Knox County Circuit Court this morning to Class-X felony charges of Unlawful Participation in Meth Production. Esp also entered a not guilty plea to a felony count of Possession of Meth-Manufacturing Chemicals.

Galesburg Firefighters responded to a home in the eight-hundred block of South Kellogg Street July 10th to a blaze that prosecutors later said started as a result of Garza allegedly shaking a bottle containing meth ingredients in it.

Garza reportedly told investigators he didn’t make meth at the home Esp lived in, but rather was there to buy meth.

Garza and Esp both asked for trials by jury in the case. Esp’s trial could happen as soon as October 20th, while Garza could be on trial no earlier than September 15th.

Esp is jailed on $100-thousand bond. A judge today agreed to lower Garza’s bond to $25-thousand.

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