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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                        Oct. 11, 2011                   

HUNTINGTON MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON ON ILLEGAL FIREARM POSSESSION CHARGE

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Joshua Dwayne Plante, 21, of Huntington, was sentenced today to 70 months in prison by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers for possession of a sawed-off rifle.  Plante pleaded guilty in May.  The defendant admitted to possessing firearms not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.  On June 18, 2010, an agent working for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) received a telephone call from the defendant to arrange a firearm purchase between the two individuals.  A short time later, Plante arrived at the Smokin’ Aces store that was located in Huntington and sold a .22 caliber rifle to the ATF agent in exchange for $225.  The firearm also had an obliterated or obscured serial number and it was not registered to the defendant according to the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.  Plante also admitted that he sold the ATF agent a 12-gauge shotgun in exchange for $400.  The defendant further admitted that he sold pistols to an ATF agent on August 24, 2010 in exchange for $175 and on September 9, 2010, in exchange for $205. 

In addition to the 70-month prison sentence, the defendant was also sentenced to six months in prison for violating his supervised release.  Both prison sentences were ordered by the Court to be served consecutively. 

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Gregory McVey handled the prosecution. 

This case is being 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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