Niagara Falls man sentenced to 17 years in prison on federal drug and weapons charges

A Niagara Falls man convicted on drug and gun charges has been sentenced by U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra Jr. US Attorney Trini E. Ross announced that he would be sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Jeffrey Richards, 32, pleaded guilty in March to possession with intent to distribute acetylfentanyl, possession of a firearm to facilitate drug trafficking and possession of a stolen firearm. His plea deal eliminated the most serious charge against him, making an explosive device, which would have landed him in prison for at least 30 years.

Police raided his apartment at Packard Court, a public housing project, in 2018 and found what they said was a homemade bomb, along with about 10 guns, more than 600 rounds of ammunition and various materials used to make explosive devices.

They also found multiple drugs, including 105 grams of fentanyl and acetylfentanyl, small amounts of cocaine and marijuana, and 34 tablets of the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, prosecutors said.

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In December, an FBI agent arrested Richards at a traffic stop in Lewiston. January 14, 2018, at the end of a two-month drug investigation.

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