The last suspect in the Ottawa-Streator crackdown of black market guns has pleaded guilty and is headed to prison for 9 years.
Bobby C. Richardson Jr., 21, of Streator, appeared Thursday for a final pre-trial conference on multiple gun and drug charges but left with a negotiated plea that significantly reduced his potential time in prison.
Richardson, who at one point could faced up to 45 years, pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class X felony carrying 6-30 years, and a lesser count of unlawful possession of a stolen firearm.
In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dismissed a more serious count of armed violence and agreed to 9 years in prison.
Richardson, who had no previous criminal history, is eligible for day-for-day good time. With more than a year already served, he could be released from the Department of Corrections in late 2024 or early 2025.
Richardson was one of five men jailed after authorities last year launched a crackdown of illegal gun sales and felony weapon possession in Ottawa and Streator. Four others pleaded guilty and were imprisoned; but Richardson’s charges (for possessing a .45-caliber pistol and crack cocaine) were compounded when, seven months later, he was charged with felony drug possession after a heroin bust in Streator.
Richardson’s case also languished because of trouble getting him on the trial call at the height of the pandemic, when infection controls effectively precluded him and others from standing trial.