More prison time for Southern Illinois man on drug, firearm charges

A 38-year-old Mount Vernon man received more than 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to dealing heroin and having a firearm as a previously convicted felon.

The defendant, identified in a news release as L.C. Richardson, had been charged earlier this year with one count of unlawful distribution of heroin and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. U.S. Attorney Donald Boyce said Richardson received an enhanced sentence based on his classification as “an armed career criminal.”

Richardson was sentenced to a little more than 19 and a half years in prison, three years of supervised release and was fined $900 on Wednesday in the Southern District of Illinois.

However, Boyce said Richardson is expected to face an additional 15 months of prison time on top of his recent sentence due to a previous federal conviction. Boyce said in January 2016, Richardson was on supervised release for a 1998 federal conviction for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. The district court revoked Richardson’s supervised released on the previous drug case and gave him another 15 months, making a total term of 250 months, or nearly 21 years, in prison.

The investigation was conducted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Mt. Vernon Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s Office also helped in the investigation.