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Press Release

Charleston Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Federal Gun Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Douglas Johnathan Wesley, 33, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for his participation in a foiled Fourth of July 2021 murder scheme.

A federal jury found Wesley guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm on May 26, 2022. Evidence at trial established that Wesley was one of four men who armed themselves at a Rand residence on July 4, 2021, and drove to Charleston’s West Side where they intended to shoot another man. Alerted to the plot, police in marked cruisers converged on the area. The four men abandoned their vehicle in a Lee Street parking lot due to the increased police presence. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on the vehicle and recovered four loaded firearms. The jury found Wesley possessed one of those firearms, a Sig Sauer, Model SP2022, .40-caliber pistol.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Wesley knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony convictions:

  • For first-degree robbery, in Kanawha County Circuit Court on August 4, 2005. Wesley participated in the armed robbery of the Empty Glass Café on Elizabeth Street in Charleston on May 2, 2004.
  • For being a felon in possession of a firearm, in United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on June 10, 2013. Wesley shot a known individual near the Kickback Lounge located on Central Avenue in Charleston on February 5, 2012. Wesley left the scene of the shooting and returned a few minutes later where he shot the same individual a second time. The victim was seriously wounded, but survived.  The incident was captured on video surveillance from a neighboring building. Wesley was on supervised release for this conviction at the time of the July 2021 murder scheme.

Wesley is among 17 individuals charged with various drug and firearms offenses in three separate indictments resulting from a long-term investigation of a large-volume methamphetamine conspiracy operating in and around St. Albans and South Charleston. All 17 defendants have pleaded guilty or were otherwise convicted.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Charleston Police Department, the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department, and the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT).

United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua Hanks and Alex Hamner prosecuted the case.

The investigation was part of the Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and is the keystone of the Department of Justice’s drug reduction strategy. Today, OCDETF combines the resources and expertise of its member federal agencies in cooperation with state and local law enforcement. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking organizations, transnational criminal organizations, and money laundering organizations that present a significant threat to the public safety, economic, or national security of the United States.

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. 2:21-cr-172.






Updated August 17, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses