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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Alabama

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Defendant Sentened to 18 Months for Being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announced that United States District Judge Jeffrey U. Beaverstock sentenced defendant Richard Truman Godwin, aka Richard Truman Smith, 48, of Mobile, Alabama, to imprisonment for 18 months for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. As part of the sentence, the judge ordered that Godwin undergo three years of supervised release after finishing his term of imprisonment, pay a $100 mandatory special assessment, and receive testing and treatment for substance abuse.

On October 30, 2019, a federal grand jury for the Southern District of Alabama charged Godwin with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1), which prohibits convicted felons from possessing a firearm. On January 30, 2020, Godwin pleaded guilty to the charge before the Court.

Godwin admitted to the following facts at his plea hearing. On September 3, 2019, narcotics investigators with the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office initiated surveillance of a Citgo gas station on Springhill Avenue in Mobile after viewing a Snapchat video in which a male individual said that he had narcotics and would be selling them at the gas station. Investigators saw the person from the Snapchat video and numerous other persons loitering and engaging in hand-to-hand transactions at the gas station. Godwin parked his vehicle near a fuel pump at the gas station, exited the vehicle, walked toward the convenience store portion of the station at the same time as the individual from the Snapchat video, and returned to his vehicle shortly thereafter. When deputies approached Godwin’s vehicle, they immediately detected the strong odor of burnt marijuana. Godwin gave deputies verbal consent to search his vehicle. During their search, deputies recovered a Charter Arms, .38-caliber revolver, which was plainly visible in the driver’s side door pocket of Godwin’s vehicle. Godwin knowingly possessed the revolver, which had previously traveled in interstate commerce. At the time of the incident, Godwin had at least four prior felony convictions in the Circuit Court of Mobile County, including unlawful breaking and entering a vehicle, burglary in the first degree, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, and burglary in the third degree. Each of these felony offenses prohibited Godwin from possessing a firearm.

The Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Sinan Kalayoglu and Justin Roller prosecuted the case.

Updated June 16, 2020