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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          August 12, 2011                   

NICHOLAS COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR ILLEGAL FIREARM POSSESSION

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. sentenced Gary Lee Rollins to a 37-month term of imprisonment. Rollins, 53, of Nettie, West Virginia, was charged in March in a superseding indictment with five felony counts of unlawfully possessing firearms. Since he was convicted of felony manufacturing of marijuana in the Circuit Court of Clay County, West Virginia, in 2007, Rollins has been prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law. On May 17, Rollins pleaded guilty before Copenhaver to one count of that pending five-count indictment. In the plea hearing, Rollins admitted to possessing a Taurus .454 caliber Casull revolver while in the Nettie area of Nicholas County.

In remarks before the court, the government noted that Rollins had actually possessed three firearms, two of which were handguns, all while he was on probation for the Clay County felony.

At today’s hearing, Judge Copenhaver referred to letters he had received and to the several people who attended the proceeding in support of Rollins but noted another guilty plea Rollins entered to a marihuana-related felony in Brevard County, Florida, in 1994, saying that the present offense constituted his third guilty plea to a felony and, thus, a sentence of incarceration was necessary to protect the public and deter others from similar unlawful conduct.

The judge ordered that the federal sentence run concurrent with the state term of incarceration Rollins is presently serving on the Clay County charge.

The case was investigated by the West Virginia State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Assistant United States Attorney Larry R. Ellis prosecuted the case for the government.

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