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Man admits to firearms charge

WHEELING — James Joseph Michaels, 52, of Wellsburg has admitted to a firearms charge, Bill Powell, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of West Virginia, announced.

Michaels, prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a prior conviction, admitted to having a .22 caliber revolver in March in Brooke County. He pled guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

Michaels faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000. 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 defendant, according to information from the U.S. attorney’s office.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods which 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Danae DeMasi-Lemon is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. U.S. Magistrate Judge James P. Mazzone presided.

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