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Press Release

Charleston Felon Sentenced to Federal Prison for Possessing a Firearm

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that Frankie D. McNeal, 26, of Charleston, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

McNeal previously pled guilty and admitted that on October 14, 2019, he went to The Empty Glass bar in Charleston with a Glock 19 9mm pistol. Investigation into the incident revealed that McNeal got into an altercation with a female patron while at the bar. McNeal then went outside and discharged a round from the Glock through the windshield of the female’s car. Surveillance video, preliminary DNA evidence, and ballistics linked McNeal and the firearm. Police responding to the incident located McNeal in a nearby alley and recovered the Glock from a dumpster next to where McNeal was standing. The Glock was loaded, with an extended magazine. At the time of this incident, McNeal was prohibited from possessing a firearm as a result of his September 2012 felony conviction of first degree robbery in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

The Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Kristin F. Scott and law student intern Makeia Jonese handled the prosecution. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger imposed the sentence. 

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:            

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-00099.


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Updated December 2, 2020

Project Guardian
Firearms Offenses