DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of West Virginia

For Immediate Release

Monday, March 9, 2020
Michael B. Stuart
, United States Attorney
Contact: Deanna Eder

Charleston Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Crimes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston man pled guilty to federal gun crimes today, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. John Miller, 23, pled guilty making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a firearm in a school zone, and discharge of a firearm in a school zone.

“Miller, a prohibited person, lied to get a gun.  He then shot it near an elementary school during a drug deal,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “We are working closely with ATF and state and local law enforcement to get those who pose a threat of violence to our communities off of our streets.”

 On April 7, 2019, Miller went to Cabela’s near Corridor G in Charleston, which is a licensed firearm dealer, and purchased a Taurus G2C 9 mm pistol. Prior to purchasing the firearm, he checked “no” in response to a question on the DOJ ATF Firearms Transaction Record Form 4473 indicating he was not an unlawful user of and addicted to a controlled substance, but he knew that to be a false statement as he was an unlawful user of and addicted to marijuana. Shortly after purchasing the firearm, he took it within a distance of 1,000 feet of Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School and discharged it during a drug deal.

Miller faces up to 20 years imprisonment on the false statement and felon in possession charges, and up to five years, to run consecutively, on the charges relating to possession and discharge of a firearm in a school zone.  Miller is scheduled to be sentenced on June 1, 2020. 

 The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation.  United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan A. Saunders and Negar M. Kordestani are handling the prosecution.


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