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Justice News

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

Monday, October 21, 2013

Parkersburg Man With Kilo Of Cocaine, Firearm Sentenced To More Than 22 Years In Prison On Federal Charges

Curry fired a .40 caliber pistol during attempt to escape police custody

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Parkersburg man who possessed more than a kilo of cocaine during a May drug buy was sentenced today in federal court in Charleston to a total of 22 years and seven months in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.  Richard Curry, Jr., also known as “Cheese” and “Curtus Javon McDonald,” previously pleaded guilty in July to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and discharging a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.  On May 3, 2013, a confidential informant working with the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) arranged to purchase cocaine from Curry. Police observed Curry, who was driving a tan Hummer SUV at the time, arrive in the parking lot of the informant’s Charleston apartment complex.  Curry, 31, later entered the informant’s residence where he was immediately taken into custody by police.  Curry, who began resisting arrest, fired a single shot from a Taurus .40 caliber pistol that he had hidden inside of his jacket.  No one was injured as a result of the shooting.  Police determined that the bullet entered into the floor of the residence.

“Time and time again, Mr. Curry has broken our federal drug laws,” U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said. “In fact, this is his third felony drug conviction.  Now he will have more than 22-plus years in prison to think about what he did.” 

Police conducted a search of the defendant and found a package wrapped in electrical tape hidden on Curry’s person.  The package contained cocaine weighing 1.2 kilograms.  

Police also obtained a search warrant for the defendant’s Hummer SUV.  During a search of the vehicle, officers found 68 grams of crack cocaine and 73 grams of cocaine.  Officers performed a check of the vehicle’s registration and determined that it had been registered to Curtus Javon McDonald. 

On May 6, 2013, Curry appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Dwayne L. Tinsley for an initial appearance on a criminal complaint that was filed against him.  During the hearing, Curry represented to the Court that his name was Curtus Javon McDonald.  However, after a fingerprint scan was performed on the defendant by the United States Marshals Service, the defendant’s true identity was determined to be that of Richard L. Curry, Jr.  

Curry is responsible for distributing cocaine to a confidential informant on at least six other occasions.  During the illegal drug transactions, Curry distributed half-kilogram quantities of cocaine in exchange for cash. 

In today’s hearing, United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston sentenced the defendant to a total of 271 months in prison: 151 months for one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and 120 months for using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.  Judge Johnston ordered the prison sentences to be served consecutively. 

The investigation was conducted by MDENT and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman handled the prosecution. 

Updated January 7, 2015