Matthew L. Richardson, 32, of Alton, has been sentenced to 87 months in federal prison for two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Richardson pleaded guilty to the charges in August 2020. His prison sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release.
In November 2019, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives received information that Richardson was selling methamphetamine and firearms. On Nov. 8, 2019, a confidential informant purchased a shotgun and methamphetamine from Richardson. The transaction was captured on camera, and Richardson could be seen on the video sawing and filing the barrel of the shotgun down to an illegal length prior to the sale.
On Dec. 2, 2019, ATF agents and Illinois state probation officers arrested Richardson at his residence in Alton. At the time of his arrest, Richardson was on Illinois state probation for a 2019 conviction in Madison County for possession of methamphetamine. During a search of Richardson’s bedroom, agents found a loaded revolver with a filed-off serial number.
In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Staci M. Yandle said the 87-month prison term was necessary to reflect the seriousness of Richardson’s offense, to protect the public, and to deter him from future criminal activity. Yandle observed that Richardson was actively contributing to the spread of methamphetamine and guns on the streets, and that when illegal drugs and firearms go hand in hand, they inevitably lead to violence and death.
The case was investigated by ATF and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Hoell.