HUNTINGTON, W.Va. —A former Mason County Sheriff’s Deputy has been sentenced to prison for possession of a stolen firearm,
United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced in a news release that Terry Lee Powell, 42, of Point Pleasant, was sentenced to five months in prison, followed by six months of home confinement for possession of a stolen firearm. Stuart commended the efforts of the West Virginia State Police and the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.
“Powell violated the public’s trust and dishonored the law enforcement profession and his fellow officers when he chose to commit this crime,” said Stuart. “The overwhelming majority of our law enforcement officers conduct themselves every day with the utmost integrity. The few law enforcement officers who abuse their power and authority and act unlawfully, must be prosecuted.”
Powell pleaded guilty in June 2018, admitting that on July 4, 2015, while working as a Mason County Deputy Sheriff, he seized a World War II era Luger 9mm pistol during an investigation he was conducting at a residence on Ultra Lane in Ashton, West Virginia. Instead of logging the weapon into evidence, Powell sold it for $2,500 to Eugene Asbury of Gallipolis Ferry. Mason County Sheriff Gregory Powers had been conducting an internal investigation of Powell when he learned that West Virginia State Troopers found evidence of Powell’s theft and sale of the pistol while executing a federal search warrant at Asbury’s residence in April 2016. Sheriff Powers referred the matter to the State Police for criminal investigation. Asbury later pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and money laundering charges as a result of that investigation and was sentenced to 63 months in prison.
United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Hanks prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.