Hurricane felon pleads guilty to federal gun and drug crimes
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - A Hurricane man pled guilty today to federal gun and drug crimes, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Malcolm Hodges, 25, entered his guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute. U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the West Virginia State Police, and the Dunbar Police Department.
“Drugs and guns are a bad combination. Either by itself can be deadly. Together they are lethal,” said U.S. Attorney Stuart. “Sadly, Hodges has earned a long time behind bars. The lesson is simple – don’t sell drugs and don’t illegally possess a gun.”
Hodges admitted that on September 1, 2016, he possessed a Smith and Wesson .45 caliber revolver. Officers recovered the weapon next to his car after he fled a DUI checkpoint in Putnam County. Hodges is prohibited from possessing any firearm because of a 2013 conviction in Kanawha County Circuit Court for wanton endangerment with a firearm.
Hodges also admitted to possessing with the intent to distribute over 72 grams of methamphetamine in Dunbar on April 23, 2017. Hodges threw the drugs out of his vehicle during a brief police pursuit, but officers with the Dunbar Police Department recovered the drugs shortly after the chase ended.
Hodges faces at least five and up to 50 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on May 21, 2018.
Assistant United States Attorney Matt Davis is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.
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 networking with existing local programs targeting gun crime. This case is also 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 illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of illegal drugs in communities across the Southern District.