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Press Release

Raleigh County Pill Addict Who Illegally Possessed A .45 Caliber Pistol Sentenced To Federal Prison

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

BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Raleigh County man who admitted to having an addiction to the powerful prescription painkiller oxycodone was sentenced today to one year and nine months in federal prison for illegal possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Booth Goodwin.  James David Morris, 34, of Eccles, W.Va., previously pleaded guilty in April to being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm.  On March 28, 2012, Morris possessed a .45 caliber pistol near Harper, Raleigh County.  Morris told police that at the time he possessed the firearm, he was an unlawful user of and addicted to oxycodone.  Police also recovered eight additional firearms that were located at Morris’ residence.     

The West Virginia State Police and the FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney John File handled the prosecution. The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Irene C. Berger. 

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.

This case was also prosecuted as part of an ongoing effort led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia to combat the illicit sale and misuse of prescription drugs.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers in communities across the Southern District. 

Updated January 7, 2015