Men plead guilty to firearms charges

ELKINS — An Upshur County man has admitted to his role in a firearms conspiracy.

Johnny Lee Riley, 28, of Ellamore, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of stolen firearm. He admitted to receiving, possessing, bartering, concealing or selling 10 firearms in Upshur County in October 2016, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney Bill Powell’s office.

Riley faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

A Harrison County man also pleaded guilty to a firearms charge in U.S. District Court in Wheeling Monday.

Michael Lewis Woodyard, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to acquire a firearm. He admitted to making a false statement when purchasing two pistols in Harrison County in March 2017, according to a press release.

Woodyard now faces up to 10 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. However, under the federal sentencing guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Warner is prosecuting the cases. U.S. District Judge Michael Aloi presided over Riley’s case while Woodyard’s case was presided over by U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives, The Mountain Region Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the Greater Harrison Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, a HIDTA-funded initiative, the West Virginia State Police, Upshur County Sheriff’s Department, Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, the Buckhannon Police Department and the Weston Police Department investigated the cases.

The investigation was funded by the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Program which supplies critical federal funding and coordination that allows federal and state agencies to work together to successfully identify, investigate and prosecute major interstate and international drug trafficking organizations and other criminal enterprises.

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