R. Booth Goodwin II, United States Attorney
Southern District of West Virginia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Melvin Smith
June 3, 2011 email@example.com
FAYETTE COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON ON ILLEGAL GUN POSSESSION CHARGE
BECKLEY, W.Va. – Michael Sicilia Jr., 29, of Minden, Fayette County, West Virginia was sentenced yesterday in federal court to 18 months in prison by United States District Judge Irene C. Berger on conspiracy to sell and dispose of stolen firearms. Sicilia pleaded guilty in January to the charge. On November 20, 2009, an Oak Hill, Fayette County residence was burglarized and among the items stolen were approximately 13 firearms and two muzzle loaders. Following the burglary, a resident (“Third Party”) of Fayette County was contacted by an individual and asked if he/she was interested in purchasing a number of firearms. The Third Party agreed to meet at a convenience store located in or near Mount Hope, Raleigh County, West Virginia to complete the firearms’ transaction. Sicilia admitted that he arrived at the convenience store with a known associate to meet the Third Party. Sicilia further admitted that he and his associate removed nine firearms and two muzzle loaders from a vehicle, and sold them to the Third Party in exchange for $1000. It was later determined that the nine firearms and two muzzle loaders sold to the Third Party were each stolen during the aforementioned burglary. The defendant admitted that he knew and had reason to believe that the firearms were stolen.
Sicilia was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $500 in restitution.
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.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Monica Schwartz handled the prosecution.
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