Birt sentenced to prison

PRINCETON — A Spring Valley man has been sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to the Class 2 felony of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, cocaine.

Maurice A. Birt, aka Marcelus Britt, 35, entered his guilty plea on March 20 in Bureau County Court before Circuit Judge Marc Bernabei. Because Birt had been convicted previously of a Class 1 and a Class 2 felonies, he was sentenced as a Class X offender to nine years in the Department of Corrections. He was also ordered to pay fines, fees and court costs totaling $1,962 within one year of his release from prison.

On July 24, 2013, a cooperating individual had arranged to buy cocaine from Birt. In the company of TRIDENT task force agents and the surveillance of other TRIDENT agents, Birt delivered a substance to an undercover TRIDENT agent. Birt was placed under arrest after the transaction. It was later determined the substance was less than one gram of cocaine.

Birt had been convicted of robbery in 1998 in Cook County and of unlawful delivery of heroin in 2011 in Cook County.