Ohio man pleads guilty to Federal gun crimes
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – An Ohio man pleaded guilty today to federal gun charges, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Austin Russell Ash, 21, of Belpre, entered his guilty plea today to one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number and one count of possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.
As part of an investigation in June 2015, the Parkersburg Police Department conducted a search at the house where Austin Ash resided on Laird Avenue in Parkersburg. During the search, law enforcement discovered a CBC, 715T model, .22 caliber rifle with an obliterated serial number in Ash’s bedroom. Ash admitted to law enforcement that he possessed the gun and that he had removed the serial number. He further admitted to law enforcement that at the time he possessed the gun he was a user of marijuana.
Ash faces up to 15 years in federal prison, up to five years for possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number and up to 10 years for possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. His sentencing is scheduled for December 1, 2016.
The Parkersburg Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Clint Carte is responsible for the prosecution. The plea hearing was held before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.
This case 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.
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