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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of West Virginia

Monday, November 14, 2016

Kentucky man pleads guilty to federal gun and drug charges

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Kentucky man pleaded guilty today to federal gun and drug charges, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Marques Stephon Dawson, 31, entered his guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession with intent to distribute crack, cocaine, and marijuana.

On August 30, 2016, deputies with the Cabell County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant at 1030 21st Street in Huntington. Deputies previously utilized a confidential informant to make multiple controlled purchases of cocaine from Dawson at the residence. During the search, deputies located Dawson inside the residence. Deputies also seized approximately 17 grams of crack cocaine, approximately 137 grams of cocaine, approximately 555 grams of marijuana, digital scales, $1,372 in cash, and a Raven Arms, MP-25, .25 caliber pistol. Dawson was arrested and admitted to selling drugs from the residence from at least May of 2016 because he “needed extra money.” Dawson was prohibited from possessing any firearm under federal law because of a 2013 felony conviction in federal court in Kentucky for possession with intent to distribute crack.

Dawson faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the drug crime and up to 10 years in federal prison for the gun crime for a total of up to 30 years. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 13, 2017.

The Cabell County Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before Chief United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

This prosecution was brought 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 prosecution 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 illegal drugs. 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. 

Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated November 14, 2016