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Press Release

Martinsburg man appears on illegal ammunition charge

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

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Gary Owen Jones, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, appeared today before a federal magistrate judge to face an illegal possession of ammunition charge, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Jones, age 46, was indicted on one count of “Unlawful Possession of Ammunition.” Jones, who was previously convicted of a felony in the Circuit Court of Berkeley County, is accused of possessing more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition in February of 2018 in Berkeley County.

Jones was first charged in Berkeley County Magistrate Court after allegedly threatening the Martinsburg Police Department on social media. In the criminal complaint filed by the West Virginia State Police, he is accused of threatening officers on his Facebook account from July 2017 to February 2018. In one such threat, he allegedly references a firearm. Jones is facing a state charge of “Terroristic Threats,” punishable by one to three years incarceration. The alleged firearm reference prompted a federal investigation, as Jones is a convicted felon, preventing him from legally owning a firearm or ammunition.

“We will not tolerate felons in possession of guns or ammunition. We will act swiftly and harshly in every situation involving threats against law enforcement when federal violations occur,” said Powell.

“Threats to the safety of any law enforcement officer are outrageous and will not be tolerated in Martinsburg.  I deeply appreciate and commend the hard work of the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the leadership of United States Attorney Bill Powell for the arrest and criminal indictment of this offender,” said Chief Maury Richards, Martinsburg Police Department.

“I thank the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crime Task Force for taking swift action to combat threats made against our law enforcement.  I appreciate the opportunity to work with United States Attorney Bill Powell’s office to ensure that we seek justice on both the federal and state levels when appropriate,” said Cadie Wilkes Delligatti, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney.

The state charges against Jones are pending in Magistrate Court.

Jones faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the federal charge. 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the case on behalf of the federal government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, investigated.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Trumble presided.

Updated March 23, 2018

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