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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Minnesota

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

B. Todd Jones, United States Attorney

Contact: Jeanne Cooney, Director of Community Relations
(612) 664-5611

St. Paul Man Indicted for Possessing Cocaine, Crack cocaine, and Two Nine–Millimeter Pistols

MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier today in federal court, a 34–year–old felon from St. Paul was charged with possessing cocaine, crack cocaine and two nine–millimeter pistols. The indictment specifically charges Ronald Louis Trice with one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, one count of being a felon in possession of firearms, and one count of using, carrying, and possessing a firearm during and in relation to a drug–trafficking crime.

The indictment alleges that on March 9, 2012, Trice possessed with intent to distribute 28 or more grams of crack cocaine, and unspecified amounts of both cocaine and marijuana. In addition, Trice possessed two nine–millimeter pistols. Trice’s criminal history includes a number of convictions in Illinois: possession of cocaine (1994), felon in possession of a firearm (1997), and manufacture and delivery of cocaine (1998). In addition, Trice was convicted in Ramsey County for terroristic threats (2003) and third–degree sale of cocaine (2007). Because he is a felon, Trice is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm at any time.

Moreover, because Trice’s past felony convictions were for crimes of violence, sentencing in the current federal case is subject to the Armed Career Criminal Act, which mandates a minimum of 15 years in federal prison if convicted. The maximum sentence on that charge is life in prison.

According to a law enforcement affidavit filed in the case, officers found 15 grams of crack cocaine and 26 grams of cocaine inside the pocket of a shirt hanging in a closet when they executed a state search warrant at Trice’s residence. They also discovered in a hidden compartment underneath a dresser drawer 136 grams of crack cocaine and seized from the house and detached garage two loaded firearms, numerous rounds of ammunition, more than two pounds of marijuana, another 48 grams of cocaine, more than $10,000, scales, and other drug–packaging materials.

As stated, Trice faces a potential maximum penalty of life in prison on the firearms charges, if convicted, and 40 years for possession of controlled substances. All sentences will be determined by a federal district court judge.

This case is the result of an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Hollenhorst.