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Press Release

Kanawha County Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Jamon L. Woodson, 40, of Dunbar, was sentenced today to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of ammunition in connection with a shooting outside a Charleston business.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on the afternoon of June 30, 2022, Woodson had stopped his vehicle outside Jet Life Apparel on Leon Sullivan Way in Charleston and fired a pistol in the direction of the store. Following the shooting, law enforcement officers recovered a 9mm shell casing from the street and found a bullet hole at the entrance to Jet Life Apparel.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Woodson knew he was prohibited from possessing ammunition because of his felony conviction for conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and a quantity of marijuana in United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on January 7, 2011.

Following the shooting, officers obtained a search warrant for Jet Life Apparel’s video surveillance system. The video surveillance footage showed Jonathan Kennedy, 41, of St. Albans, carrying a Dickinson, model XXPA, 12-gauge shotgun at the time of the altercation with Woodson and Kevin Gerard Denson, 36, of Charleston, carrying both a Smith & Wesson, model M&P 15, 5.56-caliber rifle and the Dickinson shotgun after the shooting. Officers recovered both firearms from a vehicle in an alley near Jet Life Apparel. Each firearm was loaded with a high-capacity drum magazine. Denson and Kennedy previously pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and are awaiting sentencing.

The United States sought an upward variance from Woodson’s original sentencing range because of his criminal history and his extremely dangerous actions in broad daylight on a downtown Charleston street. Woodson had completed his supervised release for the 2011 felony drug conviction two months before the shooting incident. The Court granted an upward variance, concluding that it was necessary to protect the public.

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 imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Nowles Heinrich prosecuted 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-183.


Updated July 20, 2023

Firearms Offenses