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Press Release

Mason County Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Gun Crime

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

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – James Franklin Will III, 42, of Point Pleasant, was sentenced today to three years and nine months 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 15, 2023, law enforcement officers encountered Will while responding to reports of a suspicious person at a Point Pleasant residence. The residents told officers that Will had entered their home with two firearms. Officers recovered a loaded Sig Sauer AR-15 .223-caliber rifle and a Smith & Wesson .22-caliber revolver at the residence. Will admitted to possessing the firearms.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Will knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony convictions for attempt to commit a felony on December 7, 2015, and conspiracy on November 13, 2017, both in Mason County Circuit Court, and for unlawful possession of a deadly weapon by a felon in Wood County Circuit Court on April 16, 2021.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Point Pleasant Police Department and the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.

United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Taylor 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. 3:23-cr-148.




Updated May 20, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses