Tucson Man Convicted by Federal Jury on Drug Distribution and Gun Charges

TUCSON, Ariz. (LAWFUEL) – Rudyard C. Williams, 48, of Tucson, was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and carrying a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime by a federal jury in Tucson. The case was tried before U.S. District Court Judge Raner C. Collins on February 10-13, 2009. Williams is being held in federal custody pending sentencing which is set before Judge Collins on April 23, 2009.

In May 2007, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducted a “knock and talk” at a house in south Tucson. No one answered the door, but at the same time as the agents were at the front door, they learned that individuals were running out of the back of the house. Williams was found across the street, hiding behind a washer/dryer. Inside the house, agents discovered bundles of marijuana, “packing material” and very little furniture. Agents also found a duffle bag containing a recently used plane ticket in Williams’ name and .45 caliber ammunition. In the same room, agents found ammunition suitable for an AK-47.

Outside the house, ICE agents found two duffle bags over the wall on the neighbor’s property. Inside the duffle bags, they found two AK-47s and bales of marijuana wrapped and marked similarly to the marijuana found in the house. Five feet from the duffel bags, agents located a Ruger .45 caliber semi automatic pistol.

A total of approximately 400 pounds of marijuana was found in the house and in the duffle bags. The jury found Williams guilty of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and carrying the .45 caliber Ruger in connection with a drug trafficking offense.

A conviction for possession with intent to distribute 400 pounds of marijuana carries a maximum penalty of five to 40 years in prison, a $2,000,000 fine or both. A conviction for carrying a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense carries a maximum penalty of not less than five years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Collins will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The investigation leading to the guilty verdicts was conducted by ICE and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The prosecution was handled by Michael LoGalbo and Robert Fellrath, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Tucson

CASE NUMBER: CR-07-1009-TUC-RCC (HCE)

RELEASE NUMBER: 2009-044(Williams)

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