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Press Release

Princeton Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Crime

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

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. – Kaleb Merritt, 27, of Princeton, pleaded guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on October 27, 2022, law enforcement officers arrested Merritt on a Virginia warrant at the Princeton business where he was working. Merritt told the officers that he had a firearm when they asked him if he had any weapons. Officers found a Glock model 43 pistol in Merritt’s pants pocket.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Merritt knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony conviction for first-degree arson in Mercer County Circuit Court on June 12, 2015.

Merritt is scheduled to be sentenced on March 4, 2024, and faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the United States Marshals Service and the Cops United Felony Fugitive Enforcement Division (CUFFED) Task Force.

Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Boggess is prosecuting the case.

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. 1:22-cr-206. 



Updated November 13, 2023

Firearms Offenses