July 2, 2012
Department of Justice
United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee
Richard Gaudio Convicted On Drug And Firearm Charges
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – On Friday, June 29, 2012, a jury in U.S. District Court, found Richard Gaudio, 55, of Morristown, Tenn., guilty of a cocaine conspiracy charge, multiple substantive offenses involving the distribution and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking crimes. Sentencing has been set for January 7, 2013, before U.S. District Court Judge Ronnie Greer.
On three separate occasions from May to June 2011, Gaudio sold cocaine to a confidential informant working on behalf of law enforcement. In June 2011, a search warrant was executed on Gaudio’s Morristown residence where officers found four prepackaged baggies of cocaine on a table only a few feet from a gun safe. A fully loaded 9mm Glock was found in a bedroom drawer in close proximity to the cocaine. Inside the gun safe, officers found a bowl with a white powder residue substance, a set of digital scales, baggies and a loaded .25 caliber handgun all within a matter of inches from each other. Two rifles, a shotgun and assorted ammunition were also located in the gun safe. Testimony from the trial indicated that the gun safe belonged to Gaudio and that he possessed everything inside. Gaudio confessed to officers that he was selling cocaine.
Law enforcement agencies participating in the investigation which led to the indictment and subsequent conviction of Gaudio include the Drug Enforcement Administration HIDTA Task Force, Morristown Police Department and Third Judicial District Drug Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Taylor represented the United States at trial.
U.S. Attorney William C. Killian stated, “I want to thank the prosecutors and the federal and state law enforcement agencies who worked on this case. The conviction of Gaudio sends a powerful message that drug and firearm crimes will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted in the Eastern District of Tennessee.”
This case was part of the Department's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) programs. OCDETF is the primary weapon of the United States against the highest level drug trafficking organizations operating within the United States, importing drugs into the United States, or laundering the proceeds of drug trafficking. The HIDTA program enhances and coordinates drug control efforts among local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies. The program provides agencies with coordination, equipment, technology, and additional resources to combat drug trafficking and its harmful consequences in critical regions of the United States.