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Press Release

Felon admits to possessing loaded firearm and drugs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 28-year old Houston resident has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing two firearms while a felon and possession with intent to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

On Jan. 21, 2022, authorities found Sydney Rachal’s motor vehicle stopped in the middle of the road. They soon took him into custody for driving while intoxicated and for an outstanding felony warrant. 

Upon his arrest, a search of his person revealed two plastic bags weighing approximately 68 grams that contained cocaine as well as $22,905 in cash. A subsequent search of his vehicle also resulted in the discovery of magazines and two firearms, one of which - a Glock Model 26 pistol - was loaded. 

During the hearing, the court heard that Rachal also possessed several other illegal substances, such as marijuana, alprazolam and other pills along with the material to distribute them.

The investigation revealed Rachal had been previously convicted of aggravated robbery. As such, he is prohibited from possession firearms or ammunition per federal law.  

U.S. District Judge Hittner accepted the plea and set sentencing for Oct. 5. At that time, Rachal faces up to 10 years and a possible $250,000 maximum fine for the firearms charge, while the drug trafficking conviction carries a potential 20-year prison term with a potential fine of $1 million.  

He has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rodolfo Ramirez is prosecuting the case.

Updated July 6, 2023

Firearms Offenses