Man Convicted of Trafficking Heroin in Federal Court
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced today that NAARL JOSEPH RICHARD was convicted following a two day jury trial in United States District Court, Charleston. The Honorable P. Michael Duffy presided over the case.
The trial was the second for Richard. He was tried and convicted in October, 2011, for the same conduct. However, before he was sentenced, he was granted a new trial. Some of the evidence introduced against him included GPS tracking information, which, after trial, but before sentencing, was deemed illegal by the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Jones. The new, second trial did not include the GPS tracking device evidence.
Testimony developed during trial showed that Richard was identified in May, 2009 as a heroin dealer, with a New Jersey heroin source. On May 31, 2009, he drove to Elizabeth, New Jersey and stayed for a very brief time, meeting with an individual before turning around and driving back to South Carolina. The North Charleston Police Department initiated a traffic stop of the vehicle, for a traffic violation, when it was in the Charleston, South Carolina area. During the stop, Richard appeared to be very nervous, and lied about his identity. The driver told the officers that they could search the car and officers noticed what appeared to be a secret, hidden “trap” in the car. Police ultimately obtained a search warrant for the car, and confirmed that the trap was under the console between the front driver and passenger seats, and utilized a hydraulic lift to open and close. In the trap, officers found 1,000 doses of heroin. Next to the heroin was a Haitian passport, belonging to Naarl Richard. Police obtained a search warrant for Richard’s home and found other documents linking him to the car.
The case was investigated by the North Charleston Police Department Narcotics Unit, and Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Williams prosecuted the case.