A Marion County man and Harrison County man have admitted to their roles in a methamphetamine distribution operation in Monongalia County, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday.
Stephen Richards, 40, of Fairmont pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm. Richards, who had previously been convicted of a felony, admitted to having a 9-millimeter pistol and a 30-caliber blot-action rifle in December 2017 in Harrison County, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Nathan Crites, 34, of Clarksburg pleaded guilty to one count of distribution of methamphetamine. Crites admitted to selling methamphetamine in April 2018 in Harrison County.
Richards faces up to 10 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000, while Crites faces up to 20 of years incarceration and a fine of up to $1 million. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentences imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Greater Harrison Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated. The United States Marshal Service assisted.
The investigation was funded in part by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program, which supplies federal funding and coordination to allow federal and state agencies to work together to identify, investigate and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.