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Press Release

Project Guardian Update: Two Felons Appear in Federal Court on Gun Charges

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two Charleston men appeared in federal court this week on gun charges, according to United States Attorney Mike Stuart.

Kali Eusi Young, 42, was sentenced to eight years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Young previously admitted that that on December 16, 2019, he was riding as the backseat passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by law enforcement officers in South Charleston. Officers discovered during the course of the traffic stop that Young was in possession of a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol along with a stash of controlled substances. Young admitted that he was in possession of the firearm and that he knew he was prohibited from possessing firearms due to a previous felon in possession of a firearm conviction in the Southern District of Ohio. The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Negar M. Kordestani handled the prosecution.

Jymere Alan Pratt, 22, pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Pratt admitted that he possessed a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield 9mm pistol in the early morning hours of May 24, 2019, near the intersection of Tennessee Avenue and Randolph Street on Charleston’s West Side. Law enforcement responded to the location after learning that a vehicle was parked across the sidewalk and into the bushes of a nearby business with all of the occupants unconscious. Once officers arrived, they were able to observe Pratt, the driver, wearing a bag with a shoulder strap which he placed in the back seat prior to exiting the vehicle. Officers later searched the vehicle, finding a pistol and several rounds of ammunition inside the bag. Pratt was prohibited by law from possessing firearms due to a previous conviction for robbery in the second degree in Monongalia County Circuit Court on August 14, 2017. Pratt was still on probation from that conviction when this incident occurred. Pratt faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced on November 10, 2020. The Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). United States District Judge Irene Berger presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy B. Wolfe is handling the prosecution.

These cases are 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 (ATF) 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 these cases with support from the Project Guardian partners noted above. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:


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Updated July 9, 2020

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