Orange man, 34, sentenced to federal prison for drug trafficking

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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The Orange Regional Tactical Response Team executed a narcotic search warrant in the 1100 block of 9th Street Jan. 5, 2022, arresting two people at the time and recovering cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine in the process.

28 months later, U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs announced a resolution in the case, indicating U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone had sentenced 34-year-old Richard Earl Thomas to 10 years in federal prison.

The sentencing, handed down Wednesday, is for drug trafficking and firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas, Diggs stated.

At the time of Thomas’ arrest, police also announced the arrest of 30-year-old Markeira Hebert.

Orange Newsmedia reached out to prosecutors for an update to her case. A response was not immediately available.

When Thomas was arrested, Orange Police said detectives located more than four grams of cocaine, more than four grams of heroin, more than 100 grams of Adderall and two firearms.

Following Thomas’ sentencing this week, Diggs said narcotics submitted to the Jefferson County Crime Laboratory determined the substances to be roughly 14 grams of cocaine, 24 grams of heroin and approximately 157 grams of methamphetamine in pill form.

Thomas pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, leading to a sentence of 120 months.

According to information presented in court, beginning in 2021, law enforcement received information that Thomas was dealing narcotics from his Orange home, which lead to the Jan. 5, 2022, narcotics search warrant raid.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Orange Police Department and West Orange Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell James prosecuted the case.