Nearly a year after Alicia Barlow was arrested with four other people for operating a meth house with young children present in a rural Pekin subdivision, she went to prison Monday.

The pull of drugs proved too strong for Barlow, 29, despite prosecutors’ repeated efforts to keep her free on probation. The same may prove true for her sister.

Barlow was sentenced to a three-year term after her probation, toughened in its terms twice after she continually violated them by using drugs, was finally revoked.

Amber Barlow, 26, may also go to prison for the same reason when she appears for her probation revocation hearing on Oct. 7.

Both women returned to drug use, largely illegal prescription medicines, soon after they received two-year probation terms last fall for providing key ingredients for methamphetamine made in the home of their father, according to court records.

Only two weeks passed before Alicia first broke her promise to stay drug-free. Amber did better, but began a pattern of testing positive for drugs in early March that continued until her arrest for probation violation in late June, court records stated.

A Tazewell County prosecutor on Monday recommended one last chance for Alicia, entry into the Illinois Department of Corrections’ Impact Incarceration Program. If she meets the program’s boot-camp-like requirements, she could be released within six months.

Police arrested the sisters, along with their father Richard Barlow and two other men, last Sept. 29 in an early-morning raid of their home at 108 Plymouth Court in Royal Point Estates subdivision. A neighbor said people often visited the home in pre-dawn hours for brief periods.

The Barlow sisters and Harold Whittles, 34, pleaded guilty a month later to providing pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter cold medicine, to Ryan Montgomery, 36, who was charged with manufacturing meth in the home.

Montgomery was sentenced to six years in prison last November when he pleaded guilty to that crime. Richard Barlow, 50, received a four-year prison term last March for possessing meth. He allegedly obtained the drug in exchange for letting let Montgomery make it in his home.

So far, Whittles has abided by his probation’s requirements, according to court records.

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