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Press Release

Parkersburg Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Firearm and Methamphetamine Charges

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Parkersburg man was sentenced to federal prison today as a result of federal charges related to the trafficking of methamphetamine and the possession of a firearm while involved in drug trafficking, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  James Daniel Canty, 60, was sentenced to 84 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.  Canty will serve four years of supervised release following his release from prison.   

“At the age of 60, Canty will be going to federal prison for seven years,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “He has led a life a crime, receiving the first of his eight felony convictions at age 19.  I commend the Parkersburg Police Department and ATF for getting this repeat offender, his meth and gun off the streets.”

Canty previously admitted that on November 30, 2019, following a traffic stop by members of the Parkersburg Police Department on Plum Street near Jefferson Elementary School in Parkersburg, he was found to be in possession of approximately 55 grams of methamphetamine as well as a .loaded 25 caliber semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number and a box of .25 caliber ammunition.  Further investigation revealed that Canty had another two ounces of methamphetamine hidden in the vehicle.  Canty further admitted that he intended to distribute the methamphetamine that he possessed, and that he possessed the firearm for the purpose of protecting himself and the methamphetamine that he was carrying.  Canty has a long criminal history, which includes six prior felony convictions.  The sentence imposed today is the result of Canty’s 7th and 8th felony convictions.  The United States sought a strong sentence of imprisonment in this case due not only to the offense conduct, but also the lifetime of criminal activity engaged in by Canty.  That criminal activity began when Canty received his first felony conviction in 1979 at the age of 19.            

The Parkersburg Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).   Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr., presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy B. Wolfe is handling the prosecution.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the Project Guardian partners listed above. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:            

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. 2:20-cr-00023 and 2:20-cr-00081.


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Updated September 21, 2020

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses