Mason County man convicted in federal court


August 2, 2012

HUNTINGTON —A West Columbia man is facing up to 30 years in prison after he was convicted on illegal drug and firearm possession charges in federal court on Wednesday.

David Michael Persons, 50, was found guilty on a total of five counts for distributing heroin and cocaine and illegally possessing firearms.

According to press release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office, evidence at trial proved that on March 3 and 15, 2010, Persons sold a quantity of heroin to a confidential informant working for the West Virginia State Police Bureau of Investigations (BCI). Trial evidence also revealed that on March 31, 2010, Persons sold a quantity of cocaine to an informant working for the BCI and on April 20, 2010, he possessed heroin with intent to deliver. The illegal drug transactions took place at the defendant’s West Columbia residence.

On April 20, 2010, investigators with the BCI executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and seized several items that included a quantity of heroin, digital scales, a .22 caliber rifle, and a .410 gauge shotgun.

Persons was prohibited from possessing firearms because of his January 2007 conviction in Mason County of conspiracy to commit a felony. Persons faces up to 20 years in prison on counts 1-4 (distribution of heroin; possession with intent to distribute heroin; and distribution of cocaine) and up 10 years on count 5 (firearm possession) when he is sentenced on Oct. 29, 2012, by United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers.

The West Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua Hanks and Jenny Rada handled the prosecution.