Skip to main content
Press Release

Philadelphia man indicted on drug and firearms charges

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

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – David Anthony Richardson, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury sitting in Martinsburg on January 23, 2019 on drug and firearms charges, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Richardson, age 33, was indicted on one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Base,” one count of “Possession with Intent to Distribute Fentanyl,” one count of “Possessing a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime,” and one count of “Unlawful Possession of Firearm.” Richardson is accused of distributing cocaine and fentanyl in Ohio County. Richard, having previously been convicted of two felonies, is also accused of having a .38 special revolver during said drug crimes.

Richardson faces up to 20 years incarceration and a fine of up to $1,000,000 for the cocaine charge and faces up to no less than five years and up to 20 years incarceration for the fentanyl charge. He also faces not less than five years incarceration for the firearm during a drug crime charge and up to 10 years incarceration and a $250,000 fine for the possession of a firearm charge. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). Project Safe Neighborhoods is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Wheeling Police Department investigated.

The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program (OCDETF). The OCDETF program supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate, and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated February 5, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods