(UNDATED) - U.S. Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett said during a recent press conference that teamwork led to the arrest and conviction of two local men on federal firearms laws.
Larry L. Rikard, 43, Pekin, and Robert D. Cole, 45, Campbellsburg, both pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing firearms as convicted felons. Rikard was sentenced to four years to be served under federally-supervised release. Cole's sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
The Leader Democrat reports, Hogsett joined Sheriff Claude Combs, Salem Police Chief Troy Merry, Deputy Roger Newlon and Deputy Prosecutor Blaine Goode to discuss the recent convictions.
Both Rikard and Cole had felony convictions in their past.
Combs mentioned that the case initially began as a drug case and officers recovered thousands of dollars worth of stolen property, which was returned and weapons.
Hogsett links the results to his Violent Crime Initiative, which was launched two years ago. It represents a district-wide strategy to work with local law enforcement and county prosecutors to combat drug traffickers and criminals that use and carry firearms in their illegal activities.
Law enforcement and federal agents began investigating the two men in late 2011. Rikard's criminal history includes a 2008 conviction in Washington County related to the possession of meth. Because of this, he is not permitted to possess firearms.
Rikard was arrested after officers executed a search warrant at his Pekin residence where they found evidence of a meth manufacturing operation, at least eight firearms and items stolen in separate Washington County burglaries.
Cole also has been convicted of felonies in the past, including a 1994 case in Washington County involving theft. The Rikard investigation led officers to obtain a search warrant for Cole's home in Campbellsburg where they found many firearms and items stolen in separate local burglaries.
Prosecutor Dustin Houchin says his office will continue to work hard for the safety and security of the citizens of the community with every tool available and was thankful for the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's office in this effort.
Combs praised his deputies and the efforts of the local drug team, which includes officers from both the city and county. He says officers did a great job and the prosecutor and Hogsett's office had the material they need to successfully prosecute a case.
Hogsett praised the relationship between local law enforcement and his office, noting this is his fifth trip to Washington County.
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