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Press Release

Three Felons Appear in Federal Court for Gun Crimes

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

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that three felons appeared in federal court for gun crimes this week.

Jordan Kinney, 23, of Charleston, was sentenced to 100 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Kinney previously admitted that on June 14, 2019, he was present at the Go-Mart on Washington Street, West, in Charleston, and possessed a loaded Taurus 9mm caliber handgun, which he used to shoot approximately six times at another individual. He then fled the location and discarded the handgun in the front yard of a residence a few blocks away. The following day officers with the Charleston Police Department responded to the residence and recovered the same handgun. Ballistics information provided by NIBIN was critical to the success of the prosecution. Kinney was not allowed to possess the firearm because he had previously been convicted of robbery in the second degree. The Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. imposed the sentence.  Former Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Saunders and Assistant United States Attorney Nowles H. Heinrich handled the prosecution.

Dakota Santonia, 24, of Marmet, was sentenced to 36 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  His federal prison sentence will be served consecutively to a previously imposed state sentence Santonia received in Kanawha County Circuit Court for a first degree robbery conviction. Santonia previously admitted that on January 20, 2019, he knowingly possessed a stolen loaded Smith and Wesson Model 60-7 .38 special revolver and 79 rounds of ammunition in Charleston, although he knew he had been previously convicted of a felony and therefore was prohibited from possessing that weapon. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Irene C. Berger imposed the sentenced. Assistant United States Attorney Negar M. Kordestani and former Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Saunders handled the prosecution.

A member of the Pagans Motorcycle Club, John Brady Studenic, 33, of Parkersburg, pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. Studenic admitted that he was riding a motorcycle on 7th Street in Parkersburg when an officer with the Parkersburg Police Department attempted to perform a traffic stop on him for running a red light at the intersection of 7th Street and Park Avenue.  Once the officer activated his overhead lights and siren, Studenic fled eastbound on 7th Street toward Core Road.  In the process, he was travelling approximately 90 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone.  Studenic passed multiple vehicles using either a turning lane or the oncoming lane, and ran an additional red light at the intersection of 7th Street and Fairview Avenue during the pursuit.  Eventually, he wrecked the motorcycle on Core Road and was taken into custody.  Upon being apprehended, his person was searched and a loaded Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol was located in his waistband.  Additional ammunition as well as approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana were also found in Studenic’s possession.  Studenic was not legally permitted to possess a firearm due to a previous conviction for the felony offense of malicious assault on September 22, 2010, in the Circuit Court of Wood County.  That prior conviction is the result of Studenic shooting another individual. Studenic faces up to ten years in prison when sentenced on February 4, 2021. The Parkersburg Police Department conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).   United States District Judge Irene C. 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 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 referenced 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 Nos. 2:19-cr-00291 (Kinney), 2:19-cr-00165 (Santonia), and 2:20-cr-00165 (Studenic).


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Updated October 21, 2020

Project Guardian
Firearms Offenses