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Press Release

Hancock County man admits to firearms violation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Shannon C. Thornton, of Weirton, West Virginia, has admitted to illegally possessing a firearm, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Thornton, age 36, pled guilty to one count of “Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.” Thornton, having previously been convicted of  felony “Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury” in North Carolina, admitted to possessing a .380 caliber pistol, 9mm caliber pistol, and a .45 caliber pistol in January 2018 in Hancock County.

Thornton faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Danae DeMasi-Lemon is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives  and the Hancock-Brooke-Weirton Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated. 

Senior U.S. District Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr., presided.

Updated October 11, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods