Project Safe Neighborhood Prosecutions
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Consistent with United States Attorney Mike Stuart’s priority on the prosecution of felon in possession cases as part of our strategy to reduce violent crime throughout the Southern District of West Virginia, the following hearings took place before United StatesDistrict Judge Robert C. Chambers today. Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Taylor is handling the prosecutions.
“We are aggressively prosecuting felons in possession and turning a number of cases around in short order,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “The message is clear for felons, if you possess a firearm, you will go to prison.”
These cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
GEORGIA MAN SENTENCED TO MORE THAN 9 YEARS IN PRISON FOR FIREARM CHARGE
A Georgia man was sentenced to 110 months – more than 9 years -- in federal prison for possessing a firearm, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. John Weathers, 32, previously pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Stuart commended the investigation conducted by DEA and the West Virginia State Police.
On December 5, 2017, officers with the DEA and West Virginia State Police Violent Crime and Drug Task Force conducted a controlled buy of methamphetamine from Weathers. After determining Weathers was staying in Room 222 at the Econo Lodge in Huntington, officers obtained a search warrant. During the search, officers located a STAR Firestar 9mm pistol in a bag on the floor of the room. Weathers was prohibited from possessing any firearms under federal law because of a 2012 federal drug conviction in the Southern District of West Virginia.
MASON COUNTY FELON PLEAS GUILTY TO FEDERAL GUN CRIME
A Mason County, West Virginia felon who possessed a firearm in March 2017, pled guilty today to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. James S. Potter, II, 38, admitted that on March 29, 2017, he possessed a firearm while being on home confinement in Mason County. Potter was prohibited from possessing any firearm under federal law because of multiple felony convictions. Stuart praised the efforts of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.
Potter faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on August 6, 2018.
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