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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          April 4, 2013                   

RALEIGH COUNTY PILL ADDICT ADMITS TO ILLEGALLY POSSESSING A .45 CALIBER PISTOL

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Raleigh County man who admitted to having an addiction to prescription painkillers pleaded guilty today in federal court to illegal possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Booth Goodwin.  James David Morris, 34, of Eccles, W.Va., entered a guilty plea to being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm.  Morris admitted that he knowingly possessed a .45 caliber pistol near Harper, Raleigh County on March 28, 2012.  Morris further admitted that at the time he possessed the firearm, he was an unlawful user of and addicted to the powerful prescription painkiller oxycodone.    

Morris faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on August 1, 2013 by United States District Judge Irene C. Berger. 

The West Virginia State Police and the FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney John File is in charge of the prosecution.

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by working with existing local programs that target gun crime.

This case is also being prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District. 

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