Houston Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Firearm Possession and Cocaine Distribution

Houston Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Firearm Possession and Cocaine Distribution

A 28-year-old Houston resident, Sidney Rachal, has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to illegal possession of two firearms as a felon and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Rachal’s guilty plea on July 6 led to the recent sentencing by U.S. District Judge Hittner. The judge ordered Rachal to serve 105 months in federal prison, immediately followed by three years of supervised release. As part of the sentence, Rachal agreed to forfeit the two firearms and associated magazines. During the sentencing, the court learned about Rachal’s possession of various illegal substances, including marijuana, alprazolam, and other pills, as well as materials indicating an intent to distribute them. Judge Hittner took into consideration Rachal’s criminal history when handing down the sentence.

The legal proceedings stemmed from an incident on January 21, 2022, when authorities found Rachal’s vehicle stopped in the middle of the road. Rachal was taken into custody for driving while intoxicated and on an outstanding felony warrant. A subsequent search revealed two plastic bags weighing approximately 68 grams containing cocaine, along with $22,905 in cash. Further inspection of Rachal’s vehicle uncovered two magazines and two firearms, including a loaded Glock Model 26 pistol.

The investigation disclosed that Rachal had a prior conviction for aggravated robbery, making him prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.

Rachal will remain in custody until his transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, to be determined in the near future. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Rodolfo Ramirez prosecuting the case.