CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Three Charleston residents entered pleas of guilty in separate charges before U.S. District Judge Charles A. Shaw Monday and could face prison time.
According to U.S. Attorney James G. Martin, Andrew L. Richardson, 53, pled guilty to one felony count of being a previously convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
On March 9, 2003, a Missouri State Highway Patrolman was on routine patrol in Charleston when he stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation. The car was being driven by Richardson. The officer attempted to get Richardson out of the care.
During that process, the officer felt a pistol in the jacket being worn by Richardson. The officers seized the pistol, which turned out to be a Byro, Model 48, .380 caliber, semi-automatic pistol. Richardson had previously been convicted twice of felony DWI and of unlawful use of a weapon.
Richardson faces a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Gawain P. Brown, 24, pled guilty to three counts of distribution of cocaine base. With the plea, Brown admitted on three occasions, between June and December 2002, he sold cocaine base, or "crack cocaine," to an undercover officer for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Each of the sales occurred within the designated "Weed and Seed" area of Charleston.
Brown could receive not less than five years and no more than 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine.
DeCarlos F. Clemons, 27, pled guilty to three felony counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base.
On March 14, 18, and 19, 2003, Clemons possessed and then distributed cocaine base to a confidential informant working of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He now faces a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each count.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Keith D. Sorrell handled prosecution in Richardson's and Clemons' cases while Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry H. Ferrell handled the prosecution in Brown's case.
Martin praised the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their work in the cases.
Sentencing is set for Sept. 7 for all three men.