DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 11, 2019
Michael B. Stuart
, United States Attorney
Contact: Deanna Eder

Multiple Felons Charged with Federal Gun Crimes Appear in Court

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Multiple felons charged with federal gun crimes appeared in court this week, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart.
 
  • Christopher Saunders, 26, of Parkersburg was sentenced to 63 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.    Saunders pled guilty to a single-count indictment in January 2019, admitting he sold a sawed-off shotgun to a confidential informant on March 17, 2018.  Saunders is prohibited from possessing any firearm due to 2012 conviction for malicious wounding in Wood County Circuit Court.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Matt Davis handled the prosecution.  Senior United States District Judge David A. Faber imposed the sentence. 
  • Chris Pauley, 42, of Logan, was sentenced to 57 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Pauley pled guilty in December 2018, admitting he carried a sawed-off .22 caliber rifle with him while taking a walk in Blair, Logan County.  Saunders is prohibited from possessing any firearm due to 2008 conviction for grand larceny in Boone County Circuit Court.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Matt Davis handled the prosecution.  United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin imposed the sentence. 
  • Antonio Parnell, 42, from Detroit, Michigan, was sentenced to 84 months in prison by Judge Copenhaver.  Parnell previously pled guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. On April 14, 2018, Parnell got into a violent altercation with two victims and with officers from the Charleston Police Department. Parnell had a firearm in his possession that he threw when the officers approached him.  He was arrested and has been in custody since that day.  Parnell has three felony convictions under three different names. The investigation was conducted by the Charleston Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).  Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. imposed the sentence.  Assistant United States Attorney Steve Loew handled the prosecution. 
  • Antoine Maurice Brown, 36, entered a guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.  Brown admitted that on December 16, 2018, he was driving a vehicle and was pulled over because an officer smelled burnt marijuana emanating from Brown’s vehicle at the intersection of US 119 and Oakwood Road in Charleston.  Brown moved a 9mm Taurus pistol from the center console of the vehicle and put it under a child’s car seat located in the back seat of the car.  Officers searched the vehicle and located the subject firearm.  Brown is prohibited from possessing firearms because he has two prior felony convictions.  Brown faces up to ten years in federal prison when he is sentenced on July 9, 2019.  The investigation was conducted by the Charleston Police Department, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives  (ATF).  Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr. presided over the plea hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Ryan A. Saunders is handling the prosecution.
 
“No one is a stronger supporter of the Second Amendment than this United States Attorney,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “This is not an issue about the Second Amendment but, rather, one of enforcing federal law to keep firearms out of the hands of violent felons and prohibited persons to ensure the safety of law enforcement and the public.” 
 
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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