Trial Ends in Conviction of Enid Man on Methamphetamine and Firearm Charges
OKLAHOMA CITY – JERRY JAMES KENDALL RITCHIE, 32, of Enid, has been convicted after a two-day jury trial of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute and two counts of illegal possession of a firearm, announced First Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
An indictment filed on November 13, 2018, charged Ritchie with possession of 13.9 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Beginning on April 9, 2019, a jury heard evidence that Enid Police Department officers stopped a Buick SUV driven by Ritchie on October 19, 2018, at approximately 7:06 p.m. for a traffic violation. When officers apprehended Ritchie after he fled on foot, he refused to place his hands in the air and was pulled to the ground and handcuffed while yelling and cursing. Officers ultimately discovered a loaded semi-automatic pistol in the SUV, along with bags with a white substance that tested positive for methamphetamine and two digital scales. Ritchie is alleged to be a member of the Universal Aryan Brotherhood.
Jurors returned unanimous guilty verdicts on all three counts earlier today.
U.S. District Judge Scott L. Palk will sentence Ritchie in approximately 90 days. For the conviction on the drug count, Ritchie could be imprisoned up to twenty years, be fined up to $1,000,000, and be subject to three years of supervised release. He could be imprisoned for ten years and face up to three years of supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Additionally, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking carries a mandatory term of five years of imprisonment beyond any other sentence and three years of supervised release. If, however, the court determines Ritchie qualifies as an armed career criminal, he would be subject to a mandatory prison term of fifteen years and a maximum of life.
The charges against Ritchie are the result of an investigation by the Enid Police Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—Homeland Security Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, with assistance from the District Attorney’s Office for Garfield County. Prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas J. Patterson and Wilson D. McGarry, this case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Department of Justice program to reduce violent crime. In October 2017, the Department announced the reinvigoration of Project Safe Neighborhoods and directed U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop crime-reduction strategies that incorporate lessons federal law enforcement has learned since the program’s launch in 2001.
Reference is made to public filings for further information.