For Immediate Release
Federal Grand Jury Indicts Amarillo Man on Drug and Firearms Charges
AMARILLO, Texas — An Amarillo, Texas, man remains in federal custody following his arrest on an indictment charging several felony drug and firearms offenses. Michael Chad Kennedy, 30, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clinton E. Averitte on those charges yesterday and was ordered detained pending a detention hearing and arraignment set for tomorrow. U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas made the announcement today.
Specifically, the 10-count indictment charges Kennedy with four counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; four counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm; one count of possession of an unregistered firearm; and one count of possessing a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. A forfeiture allegation is also included in the indictment that would require the defendant, upon conviction, to forfeit all firearms and ammunition involved in or used in the commission of the offenses.
The indictment alleges that Kennedy possessed various amounts of methamphetamine, with the intent to distribute it, on February 23, 2013, May 16, 2013, November 27, 2013, and January 25, 2014. The indictment further alleges that Kennedy, a previously convicted felon, possessed firearms on May 16, 2013, June 1, 2013, and November 27, 2013, and that one the firearms he possessed on June 1, 2013 was an illegal sawed-off shotgun. The indictment further alleges that on November 27, 2013, Kennedy possessed a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
A federal indictment is an accusation by a grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, the offenses carry the following maximum statutory penalties, per count: possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine – not less than five years or more than 40 years in federal prison and a $5,000,000 fine; felon in possession of a firearm – 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine; possession of an unregistered firearm – 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine; and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime – five years up to life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Amarillo Police Department are conducting the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Hammer is in charge of the prosecution.