Monongalia County man admits to firearms charge | USAO-NDWV

CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – Marquise Hicks, of Morgantown, West Virginia, has admitted to a firearms charge, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Hicks, 26, pled guilty today to one count of “Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Offense.” Hicks admitted to having a 9mm pistol while in possession of marijuana in August 2019 in Monongalia County. 

Hicks faces up to five years of 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.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Zelda E. Wesley is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Monongalia County Probation Office investigated.

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 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. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided.

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