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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Jan. 30, 2012                   


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Shawn Thomas Lester, 36, of Charleston, pleaded guilty today in federal court before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. to one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm on September 3, 2007, and one count of being a habitual drug user in possession of a firearm on September 5, 2007. 

The defendant was prohibited from possessing a firearm by virtue of his November 1994 felony conviction in the Circuit Court of Kanawha County for grand larceny and a July 2001 conviction of aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute heroin. 

Lester faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count when he is sentenced on May 1, 2012.     

The investigation was conducted by the Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey and Special Assistant United States Attorney Maryclaire Akers are 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 networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.

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