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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Monday, August 22, 2016

Charleston man pleads guilty to federal gun crime

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston man caught with drugs and loaded handgun pleaded guilty today to a federal gun crime, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Michael Brooks Burgess, 46, entered his guilty plea to possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

On February 8, 2016, Burgess was stopped for speeding and a suspected DUI in Sissonville. During the stop, officers found a vial of methamphetamine in his pocket and over 30 grams of methamphetamine under the driver’s seat. The officers searched the vehicle and found a loaded .45 caliber handgun, three high capacity magazines for a MAC-10 firearm, approximately 50 rounds of ammunition, and over an ounce of marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle. Burgess admitted that he was a habitual, unlawful user of methamphetamine at the time he possessed the gun.

Burgess faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on November 14, 2016.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is in charge of the prosecution. The defendant entered his guilty plea before United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.

Updated August 22, 2016