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Press Release

Charleston man pleads guilty to illegally possessing sawed-off shotgun

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston man pleaded guilty today to a federal gun crime, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Joe Orville Fooce, III, 44, entered his guilty plea to possession of a shotgun with a barrel length less than 18 inches and an overall length less than 26 inches not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.


In July 2016, South Charleston police officers found Fooce unresponsive at an intersection. After Fooce was transported by medics, officers discovered the sawed-off shotgun in his backpack. Fooce admitted that he knew the firearm had been modified from its original length.


Fooce faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on January 17, 2018.


The South Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is in charge of the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.


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 with existing local programs targeting gun crime.


Updated October 18, 2017

Project Safe Neighborhoods