Recidivist Offender Sentenced to Nearly 15 Years in Federal Prison for Unlawful Possession of a Machinegun While on Supervised Release
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A resident of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court on January 25, 2024, to federal drug and firearm charges, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.
Rashawn Ford, 28, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge William S. Stickman to one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of a mixture and substance containing detectable amounts of heroin and fentanyl and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime.
According to admissions made during Ford’s plea hearing, on March 13, 2021, a trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Ford in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. During the stop, the trooper recovered from Ford’s person packaged heroin and fentanyl, in addition to a loaded handgun. Subsequently, law enforcement learned that Ford was staying at a hotel in Westmoreland County and that additional controlled substances were located in Ford’s hotel room. On March 14, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant upon Ford’s hotel room, with the search resulting in the seizure of packaged heroin and fentanyl, a handgun loaded with 27 rounds of ammunition, and over $8,600.
Judge Stickman scheduled sentencing for May 20, 2024. The maximum penalty for the drug charge is a term of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the firearm charge is a term of not less than five years and up to life imprisonment and a $8,000,000 fine. Under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Pennsylvania State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution in this case.