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URBANA — An Urbana man with federal convictions for drug and weapons offenses has been charged in state court with several counts of possession of weapons by a felon.

Charges filed Monday against Richie Pennington, 43, who listed an address in the 2600 block of Brownfield Road, alleged he possessed body armor and guns.

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said the charges stemmed from a Champaign police investigation that began Friday. Officers went to Pennington’s home to talk to him about an alleged assault in the parking lot of a Champaign store.

After questioning him, the officers decided to arrest Pennington and found a .40-caliber handgun in a holster on his waist. He also had two knives and an expandable baton on him.

In his vehicle, police found a vest with armor plates, leading to a Class X felony charge of unlawful possession of weapon by a felon, which carries penalties of 10 to 40 years in prison upon conviction.

Because of his 2009 convictions for sale of a firearm to a felon, sale of Ecstasy, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, Pennington is not allowed to possess guns, ammunition or armor.

Police obtained a search warrant for his home and found another six weapons: three rifles, a shotgun, two handguns and more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition.

Rietz filed six other Class 3 felony charges against Pennington alleging possession of the other guns.

He was told to be back in court Aug. 27 with a lawyer. Pennington posted $20,000 in cash to be released following his arraignment Monday.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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