Whitesville man sentenced to prison for illegal firearm possession
by Fred Pace
CHARLESTON – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced last week that a Boone County man was sentenced to three years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
James Franklin Platt, 57, of Coal River Road in Whitesville, previously pleaded guilty to charges contained in an indictment returned in October 2012. Platt admitted that on July 20, 2010, he possessed a .22 caliber revolver near Whitesville.
Platt was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a prior felony conviction in February 1992 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
Platt was also previously convicted in June 1999 in the Circuit Court of Boone County on conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance.
Platt sold marijuana not once, but twice, to a willing customer later discovered the sale was being watched by the U.S. 119 Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force.
In a criminal complaint filed by Deputy Brian Dotson, of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department who also works with the task force, he outlined the arrest of Platt.
Dotson’s complaint stated that on May 26, 2010, Platt “did unlawfully deliver marijuana to a cooperating individual in exchange for $25 in U.S. currency.”
In a second criminal complaint filed by Dotson at the same time he stated that on June 1, “The defendant did unlawfully deliver marijuana to a cooperating individual in exchange for $20 in Whitesville.”
Platt was charged with two counts of delivery of controlled substances as well as a pair of conspiracy charges.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, Goodwin explained.
“Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime,” Goodwin said.
The Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Monica Coleman handled the prosecution.
The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr.
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