A 23-year-old man faces multiple federal charges stemming from the alleged distribution of crack cocaine in Douglas County, U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren's office said Friday.
Roderick Lawton is charged with three counts of distributing crack cocaine, one count of distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of Schwegler School in Lawrence, one count of distributing cocaine, one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and one count of possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, U.S. attorney's spokesman Jim Cross said in a news release. The crimes, which were investigated by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, allegedly occurred at different times in 2007 and 2008.
If convicted, Lawton faces between five and 40 years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute more than five grams of crack cocaine, a penalty of up to 20 years for distributing crack cocaine, between one and 40 years for distributing crack cocaine within 1,000 feet of an elementary school, and at least five years for possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime, Cross said. Lawton could be sentenced to life and would also face millions of dollars in fines.
On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty in Douglas County District Court to drug charges from 2007, court records indicate. A jury trial in that case is scheduled for Oct. 22.
Lawton is currently being held in the Douglas County Jail.