YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A man who federal prosecutors said was the leader of a drug in Warren was sentenced Wednesday to over 24 and a half years in federal prison.

U.S. Judge Christopher A. Boyko in the U.S. Northern District Court Of Ohio gave the sentence to Vincent Richardson, 30, after he pleaded guilty to 21 counts in May to charges he sold fentanyl and cocaine in Warren between February 2019 and March 2020.

Richardson and 10 other defendants were indicted in September 2020 by a federal grand jury. Cases are still pending against two other people.

A sentencing memorandum by the government said that while Richardson has been in custody pending sentencing, he was found Sept. 8 to have had 10 separate packages of marijuana, 33 Suboxone strips and a gram of methamphetamine. The memorandum said someone with that amount of drugs is typically looking to sell them.

A sentencing memorandum by Richardson’s attorney John B. Gibson said that Richardson was a user of marijuana since the age of 11 and had a daily cocaine habit that only stopped when he was arrested after he was indicted.

Richardson grew up in an unstable home in neighborhoods that were rife with drugs and violence, and his house burned to the ground, the memorandum said, when he was a young child. He lived with other family members from the time he was 12 and his criminal record was a result of his substance abuse addictions, Gibbons wrote.

Richardson is recorded 21 different times talking about drug transactions on the phone, according to the indictment in the case.

Richardson is recorded 21 different times talking about drug transactions on the phone, according to the indictment in the case.

Prosecutors are also looking to seize $21,565 that was found when search warrants were served during the case as well as three semi-automatic handguns.

In one of the wiretapped conversations included in the indictment, Richardson told another person on Nov. 1, 2019, he heard one of the houses he was selling drugs out of on Dover Avenue SW was getting raided.

Richardson ran outside to drive over to the home with a bag to grab money and saw a car he thought belonged to a friend.

Instead, the car belonged to an undercover police officer.

The officer did not take any action. In the phone call, taken right after Richardson got to the Dover Avenue house, Richardson said it appeared the officer was “playing” with him and when he left, the officer never followed him or took any other action.

Members of the alleged ring used homes on Hamilton Avenue NW, Oriole Place, Austin Avenue, Kenilworth Avenue NE, Tod Avenue, Webb Court, Dover Avenue NW and Union Street to sell drugs.