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Press Release

Charleston Felon Involved in Drive-by Shooting Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A man involved in a drive-by shooting on Charleston’s West Side in February 2020 was sentenced to seven years in prison on a federal firearm charge.  Ronald Edward Tinsley, 49, of Charleston, previously pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen firearm. 

According to court documents, on or about February 25, 2020, Tinsley was driving a vehicle on the west end of Charleston when officers with the Charleston Police Department attempted to stop him for a traffic violation.  In response, Tinsley fled at a high rate of speed for several blocks until he crashed into a building in the 1200 block of 6th Street.  As Tinsley exited the vehicle, he kicked a Makarov 9x18mm semi-automatic pistol underneath the vehicle.  This firearm had previously been stolen, and Tinsley knew or had reason to know that it was stolen at the time he possessed it.  Tinsley had been the driver of a vehicle during a drive-by shooting on the West Side of Charleston the night before and the firearm he possessed was used in the shooting.  Through the use of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), law enforcement officers were able to confirm that spent shell cases recovered at the scene of the shooting matched the Makarov pistol that Tinsley possessed.

Tinsley has a long criminal history to include prior federal convictions related to controlled substance distribution, as well as prior convictions for burglary and malicious assault in Kanawha County Circuit Court.  Tinsley’s burglary conviction was the result of him forcibly entering a residence and threatening the occupants with a firearm over an unpaid drug debt in 2012.  He was released from his prison sentence on the burglary conviction on February 16, 2020, just nine days before he committed the offense involved in today’s sentencing.    

“My office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to remove the most violent offenders from our communities,” said United States Attorney Will Thompson.  “As the conviction and significant sentence in this case demonstrates, it is through excellent teamwork and the utilization of NIBIN technology that we will accomplish our goal. ATF and the Charleston Police Department are to be commended for bringing this repeat violent offender to justice.”

“ATF has no greater mission than keeping firearms out of the hands of violent criminals,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Division. “Together, with our partners at the Charleston Police Department and the United States Attorney’s Office, we will continue to work tirelessly to bring those who disregard the safety of our communities to justice.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation.

United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin imposed the sentence.  Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy B. Wolfe handled the prosecution.

This case was made possible by investigative leads generated from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN). NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles. For more information on NIBIN, visit

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. 

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. 2:20-cr-00133.





Updated February 18, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime