WILLS POINT, Texas — A Wills Point man was sentenced to 142 months in federal prison on federal drug trafficking charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced today.

41-year-old Rickey James Howard,of Wills Point, Texas, had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and was sentenced on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, to 142 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle.

Howard, according to federal court documents, admitted that between January 2018 and September 2019 he was engaged in a conspiracy with others to obtain and distribute methamphetamine — ultimately admitting he was directly responsible for the possession with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine.

"According to information presented in court, on August 2, 2018, in Van Zandt County, Texas, a co-conspirator sold approximately 10.4 grams of methamphetamine during a controlled purchase, using methamphetamine that was stored in a residence Howard shared with the co-conspirator and that Howard knew was stored in the residence," read a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office. "On August 28, 2018, Howard possessed, at his residence in Van Zandt County, Texas, approximately 135 grams of a mixture or substance containing methamphetamine. He possessed the methamphetamine for the purpose of distribution to others."

Howard, in his plea agreement, also agreed to a money judgment forfeiture of $8,000, representing proceeds he received in this offense.

Howard was among six arrested last year on federal drug trafficking and weapons charges in connection with the case. The others arrested were identified by police, at the time, as Travis Gaston and Jessica Carlson, both of Edgewood, Andrew Harris of Grand Saline, Shelly Field of Ben Wheeler, and Timothy Henson, also of Edgewood.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Jackson.