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Press Release

Kanawha County Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Gun Crime

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Jonathan Kennedy, 42, of St. Albans, was sentenced today to three years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on June 30, 2022, law enforcement officers responded to a report of shots fired on Leon Sullivan Way in Charleston. Officers found a bullet hole at the entrance of Jet Life Apparel and obtained a search warrant for the store’s video surveillance system. The video surveillance footage 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 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.

The video surveillance footage also showed Jamon L. Woodson, 40, of Dunbar, firing a pistol in the direction of Jet Life Apparel during the altercation outside the store and Kevin Gerard Denson, 36, of Charleston, carrying both firearms inside the store afterward. Woodson was sentenced to five years in prison on July 20, 2023, after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of ammunition. Denson pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm on October 12, 2022, and is awaiting sentencing.

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-145.



Updated August 1, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses