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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                        Oct. 11, 2011                   

CABELL COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON ON ILLEGAL FIREARMS AND COUNTERFEITING CHARGES

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Harold Arthur Thompson, 22, of Culloden, Cabell County, West Virginia was sentenced today to 37 months in prison by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers for aiding and abetting other known individuals in the theft of firearms from a business licensed to sell firearms.  Thompson admitted that on May 24, 2009, he and an associate broke into Johnny’s Gun and Pawn, a Federal Firearms Licensee located in Culloden, West Virginia.  The defendant further admitted that following the theft, a known associate placed six of the nine total firearms that were stolen in a pillow case and took them to a residence in Culloden.  At the time of his arrest, one firearm was found on the defendant’s person and two other firearms were found in close proximity to the defendant.  The nine stolen firearms have been recovered.  

In March, co-defendants James A. Thompson, 22, of Culloden and Joshua Sadler, 22, of Hurricane, were sentenced to 30 months in prison and 24 months in prison respectively, for aiding and abetting the theft of firearms.

In a separate hearing today, Harold Thompson was also sentenced to 41 months in prison for the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and manufacturing counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes. The defendant admitted that on October 28, 2010, he carried a Winchester 20-gauge shotgun into the Smokin’ Aces store that was located in Huntington and sold the firearm to an undercover law enforcement officer. At the time Thompson possessed the firearm, he had been convicted of aiding and abetting the theft of firearms from a federally licensed business.

Thompson also admitted that he used a printer to make fake $20 and $100 bills and passed them at local businesses. 

The Court ordered that Thompson’s sentences of 37 months and 41 months run consecutively for a total of 78 months imprisonment. 

The cases were investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Cabell County Sheriff’s Department, Huntington Police Department, the West Virginia State Police and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.   Assistant United States Attorneys Lisa Johnston and Steven Loew handled the prosecutions.

The defendant was also prosecuted as part of a yearlong undercover operation that targeted illegal drugs and firearms crimes in the Huntington area. The operation was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and assisted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Huntington Police Department, and various other law enforcement agencies. It was announced to the public in March after a grand jury returned indictments against 55 defendants.

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