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Press Release

Pikeville Man Sentenced to 240 Months for Firearm Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - A Pikeville man, Richard Starghill, 43, was sentenced on Tuesday, to 240 months in federal prison, by U.S. District Court Judge Karen Caldwell, following his convictions for being a felon in possession of a pistol and sawed-off shotgun.

According to testimony at his trial, the Kentucky State Police responded to a complaint that Starghill had refused to leave another person’s residence.  He was then found in possession of a loaded revolver and a sawed-off shotgun. Starghill has a lengthy criminal history, including multiple convictions for drug trafficking and a recent conviction for felony assault.

 Under federal law, Starghill must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence and will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for five years, following his release.

Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; James Robert Brown, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Louisville Field Division; and Rodney Brewer, Kentucky State Police Commissioner, jointly announced the conviction.

The investigation was conducted by FBI and KSP.  The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Parman. 

This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Eastern District of Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Robert Duncan Jr., coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.           

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. Click here for more information about Project Guardian.           

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at

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CONTACT: Gabrielle Dudgeon
PHONE: (859) 685-4887

Updated June 23, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods