Two Durham Men Sentenced to Federal Prison
One defendant involved in Durham courthouse shooting; another led officers on a vehicle and foot chase
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Two men from Durham, North Carolina, were sentenced to federal prison in separate cases this week, announced Matthew G.T. Martin, United States Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina.
RYAN KENNETH RICHMOND, 25, pleaded guilty on August 11, 2020, to one count of felon in possession of a firearm. On January 28, 2021, United States District Judge Catherine C. Eagles sentenced RICHMOND to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.
In a separate case, RASHAAD ALMADD COX, 34, was sentenced by Judge Eagles on January 25, 2021, to 115 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. COX pleaded guilty on May 7, 2020, to one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
“The lengthy sentences handed down this week are proof that we mean business when it comes to violent crime,” said U.S. Attorney Matt Martin. “We are working hard with our state and local law enforcement partners to reduce violent crime in Durham, and we will continue to seek the maximum penalties available under law for violent offenders in Durham and other violent crime hotspots.”
RICHMOND was described in filed documents and court proceedings as a Southside Blood gang member associated with the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods in Durham. A feud between this group and the Eight Trey Gangster Crips escalated on December 3, 2019, when multiple members of both groups were calendared to appear in the Superior Court of Durham County. Following an argument at the courthouse, four men, including RICHMOND, got into a stolen silver Hyundai. A dark gray Chrysler 300 stopped next to the Hyundai and began shooting at the Hyundai. The cars then chased each other past the American Tobacco Campus and through downtown Durham, exchanging gunfire. The Hyundai eventually pulled into a parking lot adjacent to a church on Duke Street. Church members, operating a daycare in the building, heard multiple gunshots and saw four men walk away from the vehicle. The Durham Police Department responded and found that the vehicle had been shot multiple times, the windows were shot out, there appeared to be blood in the rear passenger area, and there were numerous spent 9mm and .300 caliber cartridges inside the vehicle. They recovered four firearms from the parking lot.
The courthouse shooting incident led to more violence over the next two days, including drive-by shootings that occurred at the Oxford Manor housing complex and at a convenience store in south Durham.
RICHMOND was arrested on December 9, 2019. Various firearms and ammunition recovered in the investigation were linked to RICHMOND, who was convicted in 2017 of the following felonies: fleeing to elude arrest, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and maintaining a vehicle to keep or sell a controlled substance.
According to court documents, on June 6, 2019, COX and a passenger were stopped on Tower Boulevard by detectives with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office Anti-Crime/Narcotics Unit. The passenger refused to comply with several directions and warnings, and COX put the car into drive and sped away, nearly hitting the detectives in the process. After a high-speed chase, COX crashed into a tree at a church playground in the Hope Valley neighborhood and he and the passenger fled on foot. Both were apprehended. Detectives found oxycodone and MDMA pills in a discarded fanny pack that matched one COX was seen wearing. The next day, detectives found a 9mm handgun in debris where COX had crashed and fled the vehicle. COX was charged by the state but bonded out of pre-trial custody.
Approximately six weeks later, on July 16, 2019, officers with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Probation and Parole (NCPP) conducted a warrantless search and probation check at COX’s residence. COX was then on probation for an April 3, 2019 conviction in the Durham County Superior Court for Elude Arrest Motor Vehicle with Two Aggravating Factors. During the search, officers seized a total of six firearms, twelve magazines (four with extended capacity), and 647 rounds of ammunition.
The RICHMOND case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Raleigh-Durham Safe Streets Task Force with assistance from the Durham Police Department.
The COX case was investigated by the FBI’s Raleigh-Durham Safe Streets Task Force with assistance from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Probation and Parole.