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Press Release

Charleston Man Sentenced For Federal Drug and Firearm Charge

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

Received more than four years in federal prison for his cocaine and firearm possession near a local casino

CHARLESTON, W.Va.—A Charleston man was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Michael A. Parker,  37, of Charleston, West Virginia, received a sentence of 49 months imprisonment.  Parker previously pled guilty to Possession of Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute, and also to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm on April 26, 2019.   Parker also agreed to forfeit the firearm and $14,225.87 that were recovered from the scene.  Stuart commended the investigation by the Nitro Police Department, assisted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT), the West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory and Mardi Gras Casino security workers.  

“Another felon with a gun dealing drugs,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “We see this over and over again.  Prior felony offenders reentering our communities that possess guns and pick up their previous criminal activity where they left off, will find themselves reentering federal prison.”

Parker admitted that on July 28, 2018 at 5:00 a.m. in the morning, he had driven to the  Mardi Gras Casino in Nitro, West Virginia.  He double-parked the car he was driving and went into the casino.  Casino security noticed the double-parked car and also saw a gun on the floorboard of the car.  Casino security contacted the Nitro Police to get their assistance in asking Parker to move his car.  Parker initially agreed to move the car and offered to meet the police outside.  Instead, Parker walked out a different door of the casino, fled into the woods near the casino, and hid there. 

Casino security workers monitored Parker’s flight with security cameras and relayed this information to the Nitro Police.  Parker was quickly located and eventually agreed to return to his car.  Once there, Parker agreed to unlock his car and the police recovered the gun.  While securing the firearm, the Nitro Police officer immediately noticed a quantity of cocaine and a large stack of cash in the car.  Once this evidence was removed from the car, Parker fled a second time into the woods.  He was eventually apprehended with the assistance of a K9 unit.  Police recovered a large bag of cocaine, 5 smaller bags of cocaine, a bag of marijuana, $14,225.87 in cash and a Smith and Wesson .380 caliber pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition and an extended magazine. 

Parker is a prior convicted felon, having been convicted in United States District Court of Distribution of Cocaine Base and Possession with the Intent to Deliver Cocaine in 2004.  Parker has not been pardoned or otherwise had his right to own a firearm restored.  ATF traced the firearm and concluded it had traveled in interstate commerce.  The West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory tested the recovered drugs and confirmed that they were cocaine and marijuana, both controlled substances.

Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the plea hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Erik S. Goes and Kristin Scott are handling the prosecution. 


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Updated August 9, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses