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Press Release

Richmond County man sentenced to prison for trafficking heroin, illegally possessing a firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Georgia
Defendant convicted at trial in December 2023

AUGUSTA, GA:  A Richmond County man has been sentenced to nearly 15 years in federal prison after his conviction on drug trafficking and gun possession charges.

Kelvin Laron Howard, 68, of Augusta, was sentenced to 175 months in prison after a U.S. District Court jury convicted him on charges of Possession with Intent to Distribute Heroin; Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime; and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, said Jill E. Steinberg, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge J. Randal Hall also fined Howard $2,500 and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Kelvin Howard was identified as a significant distributor of illegal drugs in the Augusta area, and held to account through  a jury trial,” said U.S. Attorney Steinberg. “His sentence demonstrates there is no tolerance for armed drug dealers in our community.”

A U.S. District Court jury convicted Howard on all charges in December 2023. As presented at trial, an investigation by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office identified Howard as a heroin distributor in the Augusta area. During a search of his apartment investigators found enough heroin for more than 700 individual doses, along with drug scales and packaging materials, nearly $1,000 in cash, and a loaded semiautomatic pistol.

“There is nothing more critical to ATF than increasing the safety of our communities. Cases which result in the arrests and prosecution of violent criminals are fundamental to continuing to show criminals that ATF and its law enforcement partners will not falter in this mission,” said Beau Kolodka, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. “We will pursue criminals wherever they may operate, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

“The arrest and subsequent conviction of Kelvin Howard by way of a jury trial is an example of the community’s support we have in Richmond County,” said Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree. “Mr. Howard was not only identified as participating in illegal drug activity, but he was also found to have a firearm in his possession as a convicted felon. His conviction has the potential to save lives by having one less illegal firearm on the streets and illegal drugs in our community.”

The case was investigated by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia G. Rhodes and L. Alexander Hamner.


Barry L. Paschal, Public Affairs Officer: 912-652-4422

Updated May 30, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 31-24