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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Sept. 19, 2011                   

MERCER COUNTY MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL FIREARMS AND DRUG CHARGES

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Steven W. Carter, 44, of Mercer County, West Virginia, pleaded guilty today in federal court before United States District Judge David A. Faber to cultivating 50 or more marijuana plants and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  On March 30, 2010, law enforcement officers searched the defendant’s Beeson, Mercer County residence and out buildings and found 92 marijuana plants and seven firearms. Carter admitted that he cultivated the plants and admitted to possessing the firearms.  The defendant was prohibited from possessing firearms due to a 2002 felony conviction in Jefferson County, Oklahoma for second offense possession of marijuana.            

Carter faces up to 35 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine when he is sentenced on January 23, 2012. 

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the West Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney John File is in charge of the prosecution. 

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