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Press Release

Charleston Man Sentenced for Federal Firearms Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Charleston, West Virginia man received a four year sentence for a federal firearms charge, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Steven Belcher, 46, previously entered a guilty plea on May 23, 2018 to being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.  Stuart praised the work of the Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  After he discharges his sentence, Mr. Belcher will be placed on supervised release for three years.  Mr. Belcher further agreed to abandon any interest in the recovered firearms as a term of his guilty plea.

“Another prohibited person with a gun,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “As a result of his previous federal convictions in 1998, Belcher was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison.  Now he’s going back for another four years.”

On August 21, 2017, Mr. Belcher was found by the Charleston Police Department in possession of a 9 mm Lorcin pistol and five rounds of ammunition.  Mr. Belcher was a prohibited person due to his prior federal felony convictions of conspiring to deliver cocaine base and conspiring to possess a fully automatic machine gun.  Both federal felony convictions stemmed from Mr. Belcher’s guilty verdict following a jury trial on July 22, 1998.  On November 24, 1998, Mr. Belcher was sentenced to fifty-four months in federal prison.  Mr. Belcher’s prior felony convictions make him ineligible to possess either a firearm or the ammunition for a firearm.  ATF traced Mr. Belcher’s Lorcin 9mm gun, revealing that it had traveled in interstate commerce and giving the federal government jurisdiction over this crime.  In an unrelated incident,  Mr. Belcher also admitted to possessing a 12 gauge Winchester shotgun on October 4, 2017.  This particular shotgun was further modified to have an illegal barrel length of less than 18 inches (commonly called a “sawed-off shotgun”). This shotgun also traveled in interstate commerce, giving the federal government jurisdiction to prosecute this firearm crime as well.  Finally, Mr. Belcher was caught in February 14, 2018 illegally possessing ammunition—specifically four 20 gauge shotgun shells. 

Assistant United States Attorney Erik S. Goes prosecuted the case. The hearing was conducted before Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber.

Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.


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Updated March 1, 2019

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