For Immediate Release
Huntington Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Federal Gun Crime and Violating Supervised Release
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Thomas Ray III, 54, of Huntington, was sentenced today to 12 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm and violating his supervised release.
A federal jury found Ray guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm on July 12, following a two-day trial. Evidence at trial showed that on Oct. 23, 2020, Ray possessed a firearm that he discharged multiple times, including at law enforcement officers, during and after a domestic disturbance in the area of 17th Street and Artisan Avenue in Huntington.
Ray had arrived at an Artisan Avenue residence where he struck two women, brandished a firearm, pointed it at the forehead of a third woman and fired two rounds into the air. Officers responding to the resulting 911 calls located Ray in an alley several blocks from Artisan Avenue. Ray fired a round at one officer and continued to flee. Ray fired several more shots at officers while fleeing before they returned fire and wounded him in the leg.
Ray was still holding the firearm while on the ground and resisted being placed into custody. Officers recovered the firearm, a loaded Smith & Wesson Model M&P Shield .40-caliber pistol, after Ray tossed it to the ground. Officers also found .40-caliber ammunition and a Harrington and Richardson revolver in Ray’s pants pockets.
Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Ray knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony convictions for forcible detention/armed and give false bomb/gas alarm in Will County, Illinois, Circuit Court on Feb. 28, 2012, and for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia on Dec. 9, 2013.
At the time of this offense, Ray was serving a term of federal supervised release for the 2013 conviction. Today’s prison sentence includes two years for committing a crime while on supervised release.
“Mr. Ray has a significant criminal history and his actions in this case threatened law enforcement officers and other individuals with a substantial risk of serious harm,” said U.S. Attorney Will Thompson. “Today’s sentence is warranted and appropriate.”
Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Huntington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph F. Adams and Stephanie Taylor prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities and measuring the results.
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 number 3:21-cr-57.