For Immediate Release
Friday, March 1, 2019
, United States Attorney
Michael B. Stuart
Contact: Deanna Eder
Charleston Man Sentenced to Prison for Federal Firearms Crime
Louisville Field Division
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Charleston man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for a federal firearms crime, announced United States Attorney Michael B. Stuart. Michael Matthew Phillips, age 31, was convicted of possessing a firearm by a prohibited person in September of last year following a two-day jury trial. Senior District Court Judge David A. Faber presided over the trial and sentencing hearing.
“Another convicted felon with a gun,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “We have prosecuted an outrageous number of these cases during the past year, and they just keep coming. And we’ll just keep prosecuting them.”
On January 24, 2017, Phillips was supposed to sell heroin and a firearm to a confidential informant. Phillips didn't bring heroin to the meeting because he was concerned that there were police officers in the area. However, Phillips took the confidential informant to an area where a 9mm handgun was hidden and sold the gun for $140. Phillips was a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing firearms.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney R. Gregory McVey handled the prosecution.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.