BECKLEY, W.Va. – A Beckley man was sentenced today to four years and nine months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for distribution of fentanyl and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Michael Bryant, 62, admitted to selling fentanyl to a confidential informant on three separate occasions in March 2021 at his Hunt Street residence. During one of the controlled buys, Bryant also sold the confidential informant a loaded Francolin Arms, model Citadel Boss 25, 12-gauge shotgun. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Bryant’s residence on October 21, 2021 and seized additional quantities of fentanyl, a loaded Sports Arms Derringer .22-caliber pistol, and rounds of 9mm and .22-caliber ammunition.
Federal law prohibits a person with a prior felony conviction from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Bryant admitted that he knew he was prohibited from possessing firearms because of his two prior felony convictions: for being a felon in possession of a firearm on February 25, 2010, in Raleigh County Circuit Court; and for unlawful assault on October 30, 2000, Fayette County Circuit Court.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit. The Beckley/Raleigh County Drug and Violent Crime Unit consists of officers from the West Virginia State Police, the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Department and the Beckley Police Department.
United States District Judge Frank W. Volk imposed the sentence. Assistant United States Attorney Negar Kordestani prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia. Related court documents and information can be found on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:21-cr-199.