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Friday - February 18, 2005

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that RICHARD STEVEN KEEN, 26, of Smithfield, N. C., was sentenced in federal court in Raleigh on Thursday, February 17, 2005. KEEN pled guilty on August 30, 2004, to possession of stolen firearms and to being a felon in possession of firearms. He was charged in an indictment filed on June 10, 2004.

U. S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced KEEN to 180 months in prison to be followed by a supervised release term of five years. Because of his seven prior felony convictions, including multiple convictions for breaking and entering, KEEN was sentenced under the terms of the Armed Career Criminal Act.

According to evidence and testimony presented in court, on February 3, 2004, six weeks after his release from state prison for convictions for breaking and entering and arson, KEEN stole four handguns and two shotguns from a locked cabinet in his parents' residence. KEEN traded all six firearms for crack cocaine. Two of the firearms have yet to be recovered. KEEN was taken into federal custody on June 16, 2004. At that time, KEEN was located at a Rocky Mount hotel using crack cocaine with a prostitute, having twice been evicted from a residential treatment program offered to him by the Johnston County Superior Court.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as a part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Justice Department's national initiative to reduce gun crime. Assistant U. S. Attorney John H. Bennett of the Greenville branch office prosecuted the case for the United States.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney's web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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