Greenwood, S.C.; June 15, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a Greenwood County meth cook was sentenced to 15 years in prison after entering a guilty plea just moments before jury selection was to begin in his trial.
William Robert Richardson Sr., 47, changed his plea to guilty Thursday morning just as prosecutors and defense attorneys were ready to begin the process of selecting a jury in his trial. Richardson pleaded guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense, and threw himself on the mercy of the court. He was initially charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, third offense.
Circuit Judge Donald Hocker then sentenced Richardson to 15 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed under state law for the crime.
On April 7, 2017, the Greenwood Drug Enforcement Unit executed a search warrant at a residence located in the Greenwood Mill Village. Inside the home was the defendant and his wife. Agents located an active one-pot meth lab as well as all the necessary items to make meth. Agents also located empty bottles with meth sludge indicating additional meth had recently been made, along with additional items used to manufacture meth in the garage of the home.
Assistant Solicitors Wade Dowtin and Julie Kate Keeney handled the case for the state. Richardson was represented by Ivan Toney of the Greenville County Bar.
Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Lt. Jaime Lovett, Sgt. Dyar Archibald, Agent Wesley McClinton and former agent Bryan Louis of DEU in securing the conviction and lengthy prison sentence.
“Though much of the focus has rightfully shifted to the opioid crisis in our country, homespun meth labs continue to destroy families and ravage our communities,” Solicitor Stumbo said following the proceeding. “My office will continue to take the fight to poison pushers like William Robert Richardson until we get it off of our streets.”