PEORIA - Local and federal officials are marking what they call "a historic drug bust."
And they say it puts a dent into a dangerous heroin problem in the area.
Local, state and federal officials held a press conference in Peoria Friday. Their message: heroin is a problem in central Illinois that needs to be stopped.
"It's here and it's dangerous and there needs to be a greater public awareness that it has comeback," said U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis.
Authorities believe they now have a man in custody who heavily contributed to the drug problem. 22-year-old Anthony Mansini of Pekin, faces federal charges for allegedly distributing heroin that resulted in the deaths of three people.
Police say Mansini is also connected and faces federal charges for conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin from 2008 to 2012.
"What you have here is a significant dealer, but it may lead to other dealers. It may lead to sources," said Lewis.
Authorities would not release the names of the victims connected to Mansini's alleged distribution. However, an indictment does list when they died. For each date, only one person is recorded dying by heroin overdose.
The indictment referenced a death on August 25, 2012. That's the same day 21-year-old James Reader died of heroin overdose.
It lists November 12, 2012, which is the same day Kyla Frost, 21, died. Mansini is listed as Frost's boyfriend on her obituary.
The indictment also references November 15, 2012, which is when 20-year-old Chanel Berardi died.
If it is found that Mansini distributed heroin that led to death or serious bodily injury, he would face a minimum of 20 years and up to life in prison.
"It's big for Pekin," said Pekin Police Chief Greg Nelson. "We were able to arrest someone that we could show is responsible for deaths. Since that arrest, we have not had any deaths."
Police say Mansini is also connected to the distribution of more than one thousand grams of heroin over a four year span.
Lewis would not say if Mansini acted alone or where he got the drugs. However, he said this indictment could lead to future arrests.
"This is a lot of heroin, particularly dangerous in the community, with terrible, terrible consequences," Lewis said.
Mansini made his first federal court appearance Thursday, and his trial is scheduled for May 6.
In all, he faces eleven federal counts.