For Immediate Release
Huntington Felon Sentenced to 114 Months in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Guns
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – A Huntington felon caught with multiple firearms last year was sentenced today to 114 months in federal prison, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Randall Allen Eplion, Jr., 30, previously pled guilty to felon in possession of a firearm.
“Prosecutions like this are vital to public safety,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Eplion, a felon, was in possession of 21 firearms, including a machine gun. He traded meth for several of them. We continue to work closely with ATF and other law enforcement partners to enforce guns laws aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of felons and other prohibited persons.”
“ATF is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect communities from the illegal use of firearms and the often resulting violent crime,” stated ATF Acting Special Agent in Charge Tommy Estevan of the Louisville Field Division. “Taking stolen guns, including a machine gun, out of the hands of a convicted felon will go a long way toward making our neighborhoods safer for everyone.”
Eplion admitted that, on April 5, 2019, officers with the Huntington Police Department executed a search warrant at his residence located at 427 Rear 6th Avenue, Apartment E, in Huntington. During the search, officers found Eplion in possession of a number of firearms including a .45 caliber pistol, a 5.56 mm rifle, and a 12 gauge shotgun. Eplion was prohibited from possessing firearms based on a prior conviction for first degree robbery in Cabell County.
Eplion admitted as part of his plea that he possessed a total of 21 firearms that officers located during the search. Some of the firearms were stolen, including a weapon stolen from a police cruiser. Eplion admitted that he traded methamphetamine for a number of the firearms. Eplion also admitted that the 5.56 mm rifle qualified as a machinegun, the 12 gauge shotgun qualified as a short-barrel shotgun, and that neither of the firearms were registered as required by federal law.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Huntington Police Department conducted the investigation. United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams handled the prosecution.
This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program, 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.