Feds ask for max sentence for Warren man convicted of drug, gun charges

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Prosecutors say Ricardo McKinney lied during his trial and has a long history of drug convictions and acts of violence

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Federal prosecutors are asking for the maximum sentence for a Warren man who is being resentenced on convictions of drug and gun charges.

In a sentencing memorandum filed last week in the U.S. Northern District Court Of Ohio, prosecutors said Ricardo McKinney, 34, of Lancer Court, deserves a maximum sentence of over 27 years because he lied during his trial and he has a long history of drug convictions and acts of violence.

McKinney was originally sentenced in December 2017 after he was convicted on two counts of distribution of heroin and a single count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Those charges stemmed from a Feb. 15, 2015 search warrant served at McKinney’s home, where authorities found 3.6 pounds of heroin, almost $6,000 cash and two handguns — a .41-caliber revolver and a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun.

The memorandum said McKinney had been through at least 10 attorneys in the case and in his sentencing hearing in 2017, he was removed from the court because he refused to work with his attorney or sign a presentence investigation.

He was sentenced to 27 years in prison then but appealed. The Sixth Circuit Court Of Appeals ruled in his favor, saying he should not have been removed from the court during his sentencing hearing because he has the right to speak on his own behalf.

The memorandum said during his trial, McKinney claimed he was a rapper and on the road frequently and had no idea who put the guns and drugs in his home. He denied they belonged to him.

The memorandum also said that during his trial, McKinney — who rapped about guns, drugs and making money illegally — said performers have more credibility if they rap about things they have personal experience with, but he still denied the guns and drugs found were his.

McKinney is scheduled to be resentenced Wednesday by U.S. Judge Christopher Boyko.

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