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Press Release

Kanawha County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Jonathan Kennedy, 41, of St. Albans, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on June 30, 2022, law enforcement officers were dispatched to Leon Sullivan Way in Charleston in response to a report of shots fired. Officers found a bullet hole at the entrance of Jet Life Apparel and obtained a search warrant for the store’s video surveillance system, which showed two firearms inside the store: a Dickinson, model XXPA, 12-gauge shotgun; and a Smith & Wesson, model M&P 15, 5.56-caliber rifle. The video surveillance footage also showed Kennedy running across the store while holding the shotgun following an apparent altercation outside.

Officers recovered both firearms from a vehicle in an alley near Jet Life Apparel. Each firearm was loaded with a high-capacity drum magazine.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Kennedy knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his felony convictions for interstate travel in aid of drug trafficking and use of a communication facility in furtherance of an unlawful act in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on December 3, 2014.

Kennedy is scheduled to be sentenced on January 25, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Charleston Police Department.

Chief United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston presided over the hearings. Assistant United States Attorney Nowles Heinrich is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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. 2:22-cr-145.






Updated October 4, 2022

Firearms Offenses