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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ashtabula Man Faces Federal Charges Related to Firearms and Heroin

A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment charging Michael G. Relliford, 31, of Ashtabula, with distribution of heroin, possessing with the intent to distribute heroin, being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Count 1 of the indictment alleges that on or about July 16, 2014, Relliford distributed less than 100 grams of heroin.

Count 2 of the indictment alleges that on or about July 17, 2014, Relliford possessed with the intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin.

Count 3 of the indictment alleges that on or about July 17, 2014, Relliford possessed a Ruger, model P90DC, .45 caliber pistol, and ammunition, after having been previously convicted of Illegal Manufacture of Drugs, in the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas, Ohio.

Count 4 of the indictment alleges that on or about July 17, 2014, Relliford possessed the above mentioned Ruger firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Ashtabula Police Department.   The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason M. Katz.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Updated March 18, 2015