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Press Release

Cleveland man indicted for using firearm while dealing crack cocaine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A Cleveland man was indicted in federal court for possessing a firearm while dealing crack cocaine, United States Attorney Justin E. Herdman said.

An indictment was filed charging Michael Townsend, 35, with two counts of being a felon in possession of firearm and ammunition, one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base, and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

On March 2, 2018, Townsend possessed with intent to distribute 32.17 grams of cocaine base, and possessed a Century Arms, Model RAS47, semiautomatic rifle, and ammunition.  Townsend has prior convictions that prohibit him from having firearms or ammunition, including convictions for drug trafficking and assault on a peace officer, according to the indictment. 

On March 14, 2018, Townsend possessed a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm pistol, and ammunition, according to the indictment.  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle K. Angeli is prosecuting the case following investigations by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the Cleveland Division of Police.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after reviewing 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 violation.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

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.


Mike Tobin

Updated April 27, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses