Raleigh County man sentenced for federal gun crime

Court ruling
Court ruling(MGN)
Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 3:43 PM EDT
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - James Pratt, 31, of Beckley, was sentenced for being a felon in possession of a firearm to four years and nine months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.

According to U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of West Virginia Will Thompson on February 25, 2021, Pratt was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over by law enforcement officers in Beckley. Officers found a Browning, model Hi-Power, 9mm pistol and $5,385 in the vehicle during the traffic stop. Pratt admitted to possessing the firearm and the money. Pratt further admitted that he possessed the firearm in connection with his drug trafficking activities, which included receiving four or five ounces of heroin and fentanyl per day that he subsequently distributed.

Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Pratt knew he was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of his prior felony convictions in Raleigh County Circuit Court for first-degree robbery on August 5, 2010, and child abuse resulting in injury on July 29, 2013.

United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorneys Negar M. Kordestani and Andrew D. Isabell prosecuted the case.