United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced today that Michael LeRose, 32, of Nitro, West Virginia, was sentenced to 30-months in federal prison for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
LeRose previously pled guilty and admitted that on June 9, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on his residence. Inside they recovered a .22 caliber rifle, a 5.56 mm caliber semi-automatic rifle, two 9mm handguns, two AM-15 rifle receivers, and a full auto conversion kit for a semi-automatic rifle. They also recovered assorted ammunition, a homemade silencer, marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms. A tactical vest also was found in a separate search of his car. LeRose acknowledged that his addiction to drugs prohibited him from possessing firearms, as he was a user of multiple illegal narcotics.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation. Senior United States District Judge John T. Copenhaver, Jr. imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney L. Alexander Hamner handled the prosecution.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.