CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced that Joshua Hicks, 35, of Charleston, pled guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of counterfeit U.S. currency. Stuart praised the investigation conducted by the St. Albans Police Department, the United States Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“On a daily basis, federal investigative agencies work in partnership with our state and local law enforcement personnel to protect the citizens of West Virginia,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Their tireless efforts remove repeat offenders like Hicks from our communities and put them behind bars.”
Hicks admits that he possessed a Glock, .40 caliber pistol on January 29, 2018 in St. Albans. He had previously purchased the gun from an acquaintance and had it in his vehicle when he was stopped by an officer with the St. Albans Police Department. Hicks further admitted to possessing an assault rifle and a derringer pistol. Hicks has several prior felony convictions. Law enforcement officers searched his bedroom and found counterfeit currency he had purchased on the internet and then washed and manipulated to make it look more real so he could pass it off as genuine currency.
Hicks faces up to ten years in prison on the gun charge and up to 20 years in prison for possession of counterfeit U.S. currency when sentenced on November 29, 2018.
Assistant United States Attorney Steve Loew is handling the prosecution. United States District Judge Irene Berger presided over the plea hearing.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.