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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          June 4, 2012                   

HUNTINGTON MAN SENTENCED TO 37 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR ILLEGAL FIREARM POSSESSION

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Nakiyan J. Harper, 31, of Huntington, was sentenced today to 37 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.   Harper previously pleaded guilty in February.  On June 8, 2010, law enforcement officers patrolling the 1600 block of Artisan Avenue in Huntington approached the defendant after receiving information that he was suspected of possessing a firearm.  At the time police questioned Harper about the suspected firearm, a struggle ensued and a loaded .40 caliber pistol fell from the defendant’s waistband and he was subsequently arrested. 

Harper was previously convicted in March 1999 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine and use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense.  The defendant did not have his rights to possess a firearm restored.  In addition, Harper was also on supervised release for both felony convictions at the time of the firearm possession offense.     

The investigation was conducted by the Huntington Police Department, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams handled the prosecution.  United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over today’s sentencing. 

This case is also 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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