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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Nov. 19, 2012                   

MASON COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ILLEGAL DRUG & FIREARM POSSESSION CHARGES

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Booth Goodwin announced that a Mason County man was sentenced on Monday (Nov. 19) to ten years in prison on federal drug and firearm charges.  David Michael Persons, 50, of West Columbia, Mason County, W.Va. was found guilty in August by a federal jury on three counts of illegal drug distribution, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Evidence at trial proved that on March 3 and 15, 2010, the defendant sold a quantity of heroin to a confidential informant working for the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Investigations (BCI).    Trial evidence also revealed that on March 31, 2010, Persons sold a quantity of cocaine to an informant working for the BCI and on April 20, 2010, he possessed heroin with intent to deliver.  The illegal drug transactions took place at the defendant’s West Columbia residence. 

On April 20, 2010, investigators with the BCI executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and seized several items that included a quantity of heroin, digital scales, a .22 caliber rifle, and a .410 gauge shotgun. 

Persons was prohibited from possessing firearms because of his January 2007 conviction in Mason County of conspiracy to commit a felony. 

The West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua Hanks and Jenny Rada handled the prosecution.  The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

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