DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Michael B. Stuart
, United States Attorney
Contact: Deanna Eder

Three Defendants Sentenced to Federal Prison for Gun Crimes

Charleston, W.Va. – Three defendants were sentenced to federal prison today for gun crimes, announced in United States Attorney Mike Stuart.   

“We are prosecuting record numbers of gun crimes aimed at keeping guns out of the wrong hands,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart.  “If you violate federal gun laws, whether you are a prohibited person, a gun-toting drug dealer, you steal firearms or possess illegal weapons, we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

Jeffery Turley, 31, of Lincoln County, was sentenced to 84 months in prison for using an unregistered sawed off shotgun when he stole a car.  Turley previously admitted that he possessed a sawed off shotgun that was not registered with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.  Turley had a long history of prior convictions and was prohibited from being in possession of a gun.  The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the West Virginia State Police, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) conducted the investigation.   United States District Judge Irene Berger presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Arthur handled the prosecution.

Joseph Keith Abshire, 33, of Dunbar was sentenced to 16 months in prison for being felon in possession of a firearm.  Abshire previously admitted that on March 18, 2018, he was pulled over for his reckless driving in St. Albans, while following members of the Last Rebels Motorcycle Club. A St. Albans Police Officer smelled alcohol on his breath.  With permission, the officer began to conduct a field sobriety test.  Pursuant to the officer’s request, Abshire acknowledged that he had a knife on his belt.  When the officer lifted Abshire’s shirt to take possession of the knife, a handgun in his waistband was observed.  A loaded Para Ordnance, model p12-45, semi-automatic pistol  was recovered.  In addition to the knife and gun, the officer removed a sharpened deer antler from Abshire’s boot.  Inside of Abshire’s truck, the officer found a magazine and holster to a separate firearm, as well as a denim cut typical of a prospect in the Last Rebels Motorcycle Club.  Abshire had previously been convicted of a misdemeanor offense of domestic battery in Kanawha County Circuit Court and was therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the St. Albans Police Department conducted the investigation.   United States District Judge Irene C. Berger presided over the hearing.  Assistant United States Attorney L. Alexander Hamner handled the prosecution.

Keanna Carter, of Charleston, was sentenced to 60 months in prison for possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.   Carter previously admitted that she possessed 251 oxycodone pills at her house to be distributed for money.  She further admitted that she possessed firearms in the house for the purpose of assisting her with drug trafficking.  The Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) and the Charleston Police Department conducted the investigation.   United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin imposed the sentence.  Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Arthur handled the prosecution.

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Louisville Field Division