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Press Release

Richmond Man Sentenced to 240 Months for Methamphetamine Trafficking and Firearm Charges

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

LEXINGTON, Ky.A Richmond, Kentucky, man, John William Lawson, 57, was sentenced on Thursday to 240 months in prison, by U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, for distribution of more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, distribution of heroin, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.

According to testimony at trial, Lawson was arrested after a traffic stop during which officers located a loaded handgun, drug paraphernalia, and more than $23,000 in United States currency.  Subsequent search warrants at Lawson’s residence in Madison County revealed more than one pound of methamphetamine, which was determined to be 100% pure.  The search also resulted in the seizure of an additional $57,000 in United States currency, thousands of Xanax pills, and several firearms. 

Lawson was convicted in May 2021.   

Under federal law, Lawson must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence. Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky;  J. Todd Scott, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Louisville Field Division; Chief James Ebert, Richmond Police Department, and Sheriff Mike Coyle, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, jointly announced the sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the DEA, the Madison County AHIDTA Task Force, the Richmond Police Department, and the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Todd Bradbury and David Kiebler. 

This 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.  t 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, Acting U.S. Attorney Shier coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.

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

Updated September 17, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods