DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 14, 2019
Michael B. Stuart
, United States Attorney
Contact: Deanna Eder

Kanawha County Felon Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Crime

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Kanawha County felon pled guilty to a federal gun crime, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  Mason Laviro Scragg, 24, of Chesapeake, West Virginia, entered his guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Stuart commended the investigation conducted by the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“Convicted felon. Stolen gun. Meth,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “It’s offenders like Scragg that are responsible for much of the crime in our communities.” 

As established by public court filings and hearings, on August 16, 2018, a man reported to Kanawha County Deputies that his house in Rand, West Virginia, was burglarized.  The burglars stole six firearms, three digital cameras, vehicle titles, $1,000 in savings bonds, and various other personal items.  

Later that day, a Kanawha County Deputy found some of the stolen items in a backpack outside of an empty, abandoned house on Church Drive.  The Deputy spotted another dilapidated, abandoned house nearby, with the doors open.  After entering the house and announcing his presence, the Deputy found Scragg lying on a mattress.  One of the stolen firearms, a 12 gauge shotgun, was protruding from under the mattress directly beneath Scragg.  Deputies also recovered close to five grams of methamphetamine in Scragg’s room.

At the time that he possessed the shotgun, Scragg was a convicted felon whose right to possess a firearm had not been restored.  Scragg is facing up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 19, 2019.  United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney Drew O. Inman is handling 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.

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