Thursday, October 29, 2020

Van Zandt County Man Sentenced for Federal Drug Trafficking Violations

 TYLER, Texas – A 41-year-old Wills Point, Texas man has been sentenced for federal drug trafficking crimes in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox today.

Rickey James Howard pleaded guilty on Jan. 9, 2020, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced to 142 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle on Oct. 27, 2020.  Judge Kernodle also ordered an $8,000 money judgment against Howard.           

            According to information presented in court, on August 2, 2018, in Van Zandt County, Texas, a co-conspirator sold approximately 10.4 grams of methamphetamine during a controlled purchase, using methamphetamine that was stored in a residence Howard shared with the co-conspirator and that Howard knew was stored in the residence.  On August 28, 2018, Howard possessed, at his residence in Van Zandt County, Texas, approximately 135 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine.  He possessed the methamphetamine for the purpose of distribution to others. 

Howard admitted that between January 2018 and September 2019, he was engaged in a conspiracy with others to obtain and distribute methamphetamine.  He also admitted that he was directly responsible for the possession with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine.  Howard also agreed to a money judgment forfeiture of $8,000, representing proceeds received by Howard from his offense.

            This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson.

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