Richmond Crack Cocaine Dealer Receives Life In Prison
OCT 14 -- (Indianapolis) Billy L. Hicks Jr., 37, Richmond, Indiana, was sentenced to life without parole on Friday, October 9, 2009, by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence. On July 15, 2009, Hicks was found guilty of distributing more than 50 grams of cocaine base, commonly known as “crack” cocaine. The investigation of Hicks was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Wayne County Drug Task Force and Richmond Police Department.
Hicks was originally charged in Wayne County for state violations of distributing cocaine to a confidential law enforcement informant. The informant was working at the direction of law enforcement officers by making controlled purchases of “crack” cocaine from various drug dealers in Richmond, Indiana. One of the controlled purchases, which was supervised by law enforcement officers, was from Hicks on July 18, 2006. On July 17, 2007, as a result of the controlled purchase, Hicks was arrested and charged with state violations of dealing “crack” cocaine in Wayne County. While awaiting trial on the Wayne County charges, the confidential informant was murdered in Englewood, Ohio during a drive-by shooting. After the confidential informant was murdered, Wayne County dismissed the state charges against Hicks.
On March 19, 2008, an Indianapolis federal grand jury issued an indictment against Hicks for federal violations of distributing more than 50 grams of “crack” cocaine. The charges stemmed from the July 18, 2006 controlled purchase from the now deceased confidential informant. Hicks was found guilty after a three-day jury trial in July 2009. The investigation of the murder of the confidential informant is ongoing.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Matthias D. Onderak, who prosecuted the case for the government, the life sentence imposed on Hicks was mandatory because of three previous convictions for felony drug crimes. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Wayne County Drug Task Force conducted the investigation of Hicks.