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Press Release

Charleston Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Robert Jared Smith, 44, of Charleston, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on April 16, 2023, law enforcement officers attempted a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Smith on the 1000 block of Virginia Street East in Charleston. The vehicle was traveling at night with its headlights off. Smith refused to stop, leading officers on a brief pursuit before crashing at the intersection of Kanawha Boulevard and Brooks Street. While attempting to flee on foot following the crash, Smith tripped and a loaded Glock Model 45 9mm pistol fell from his waistband. Smith grabbed the firearm and threw it under a nearby porch before continuing to flee. Officers recovered the firearm and captured Smith after he again fell to the ground.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Smith knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony convictions for aiding and abetting robbery affecting interstate commerce on May 13, 2015, and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base and aiding and abetting possession with intent to distribute cocaine base on November 17, 2000, all in United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on January 5, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, up to 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 Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Holly Wilson is 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. 2:23-cr-111. 



Updated September 21, 2023

Firearms Offenses