Nitro Man Pleads Guilty to Gun Crime
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Nitro, West Virginia, man pled guilty to a federal firearm charge, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. On May 8, 2019, Cole Dylan Cooper, 30, pled guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon before United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin. Stuart commended the investigation conducted by the South Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
At the plea hearing, it was established that on November 11, 2018, police officers were dispatched to Thomas Hospital in South Charleston, West Virginia, where a suspect was attempting to break into vehicles and evading hospital security officers. Officers spotted Cooper in a nearby parking lot. Cooper’s appearance matched the description of the attempted burglary suspect.
An officer asked Cooper if he had fled from Thomas Hospital security officers, and Cooper acknowledged that he had. Cooper further stated that he was carrying a firearm, and officers retrieved a loaded pistol from Cooper’s inner jacket pocket. Cooper was not permitted to possess the firearm as he had previously been convicted of conspiracy to commit first degree robbery, a felony.
Cooper faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 31, 2019. Assistant United States Attorney Andrew J. Tessman is handling the prosecution.