Detroit man pleads guilty to federal gun crime
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Detroit man pleaded guilty today to a drug-related gun charge, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Thomas Lee Nelson, 48, entered his guilty plea to possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.
On March 10, 2016, the Huntington FBI Drug Task Force conducted a search at Nelson’s residence located at 1830 10th Avenue in Huntington. During the search, agents located and seized a loaded Cobray Model DD .410/.45 caliber handgun from a room later identified as Nelson’s bedroom. Agents also located and seized heroin from the same room. Nelson admitted that he possessed the handgun as protection for himself and for the heroin.
Nelson faces at least five years and up to life in federal prison when he is sentenced on June 5, 2017.
The Huntington FBI Drug Task Force conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney R. Gregory McVey is responsible for the prosecution. Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over the plea hearing.
This case is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by working with existing local programs that target gun crime. This case was also brought as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs and heroin. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.
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