Wilmington Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Stolen Firearm

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WILMINGTON, DE — David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that a Wilmington man, Rudolph Hardin, 55, was sentenced to 86 months in federal court for possession of a stolen firearm. Chief U.S. District Judge Colm F. Connolly pronounced the sentence Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

According to court documents and statements made in open court, an undercover Wilmington Police Department (“WPD”) detective was working in the area of 3rd and Broom Streets.  The undercover detective was approached by an individual who offered to sell him crack cocaine.  When the undercover officer agreed, the individual went directly to the porch of a nearby home. The undercover detective witnessed the individual exchange a package with Mr. Hardin. Based on that conduct, law enforcement obtained a search warrant to search the home where they recovered a stolen black .45 caliber Rock Island Armory firearm and illegal drugs. Mr. Hardin admitted to possessing the firearm and selling the illegal narcotics.

U.S. Attorney Weiss commented on the sentence: “The deadly combination of illicit drugs and illegal firearms continues to threaten our communities. Disrupting the flow of illegal drugs and stolen firearms is critical to reducing violent crime. I commend the WPD undercover detective and the DEA for their efforts in this case.”

“The proliferation of illegal guns has had a catastrophic impact on the increase in violence in our communities,” said Thomas Hodnett, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division.  “That Hardin possessed a stolen firearm while selling crack cocaine warranted him being charged and sentenced in federal district court.  I would like to thank our partners at the Wilmington Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their support of this case.”

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“This sentencing is yet another example of our strong working relationships with our federal partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA,” said Wilmington Police Chief Robert J. Tracy. “We appreciate their support of our community through our collective efforts to hold gun offenders accountable.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration and WPD investigated this case. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McTaggart prosecuted the case.

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