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Press Release

Braxton County Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Thomas Jason Drake, 48, of Gassaway, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Drake, a lawyer, admitted that he possessed and pawned a Taurus Model G3C 9mm handgun on December 20, 2021, a Winchester Model Grand European XTR .257-caliber rifle on November 22, 2021, and a Colt Model Single Action .45-caliber revolver on December 7, 2021, at Charleston businesses.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Drake knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony conviction for embezzlement in Kanawha County Circuit Court on September 13, 2012.

Drake is scheduled to be sentenced on August 8, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Charleston Police Department.

United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew J. Tessman, Gabriel Price and Nowles Heinrich are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:24-cr-64. 



Updated April 18, 2024

Firearms Offenses