CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Two defendants pleaded guilty today to federal gun charges, announced United States Attorney Carol Casto. Carlos Lamont Gray, 26, of Detroit, pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. In a separate prosecution, Edward William Blake, Jr., 52, of Belle in Kanawha County, entered his guilty plea to possessing a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Gray admitted that on February 20, 2017, he and another individual traded a Ruger .223 caliber rifle for a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun at Bridgeport Equipment in Charleston. Gray also admitted that on March 9, 2017, he was pulled over on Nancy Street in Charleston and officers found the loaded Smith & Wesson handgun on his person. Gray was prohibited from possessing any firearm under federal law because of felony convictions in 2012 in Wayne County, Michigan, for receiving or concealing a stolen vehicle and fleeing a police officer.
In a separate prosecution, Blake admitted that on April 18, 2016, officers responded to a domestic violence call at his residence in Belle. The encounter resulted in Blake’s arrest and in his wife being taken to the hospital. When officers returned later that evening with his wife, she informed them that Blake had a gun in the home that he had hidden prior to their arrival earlier in the day. The wife took the officers into the master bedroom and opened a drawer in a small nightstand beside the bed where officers located a Bryco Arms 9mm pistol. Blake was prohibited from possessing any firearm under federal law because of two prior misdemeanor domestic battery convictions in Nicholas County Magistrate Court.
Gray and Blake each face up to 10 years in federal prison when they are sentenced on November 6, 2017.
The investigation of Gray was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Charleston Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Haley Bunn is in charge of Gray’s prosecution. The plea hearing for Gray was held before United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston.
The Kanawha County Sheriff’s Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation of Blake. Assistant United States Attorney Monica D. Coleman is in charge of Blake’s prosecution. United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over Blake’s plea hearing.
These cases were brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in the United States by networking existing local programs targeting gun crime.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of West Virginia