BECKLEY, W.Va. – Two felons were sentenced to federal prison today for gun crimes, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. Jerry Wayne Phillips, Jr., 40, of Beckley, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison after previously pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. In a separate prosecution, Cleveland McDowell Meador, IV, 44, was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm following a one-day jury trial.
U.S. Attorney Stuart commended the Beckley Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for the investigation of Phillips, and the St. Albans Police Department and the ATF for the investigation of Meador.
Phillips admitted that on June 23, 2016, he possessed six stolen firearms, including a Marlin, Model 30AW, .30/.30 caliber rifle; a Norinco, Model Type 56 SKS, 7.62x39mm rifle; a Mossberg, Model 500, 12 gauge shotgun; a Keystone Sporting Arms, Model Cricket, .22 caliber rifle; a Winchester, Model 190, .22 caliber rifle; and a Rossi (Taurus), Model S411220BS, .410/.22 caliber rifle. Phillips was prohibited from possessing any firearms under federal law because of a 1998 felony drug conviction in Raleigh County Circuit Court and a 2004 misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence.
In a separate prosecution, witnesses for the United States testified that on May 10, 2017, Meador gave permission to officers with the St. Albans Police Department to search his home on Bard Avenue in St. Albans. During the search, an officer discovered a Hi-Point, Model C9, 9mm pistol in an air register vent in the ceiling of Meador’s home. After Meador’s arrest, law enforcement read him his Miranda rights and in a recorded interview, Meador admitted that he put the gun in the air register vent, that he was a convicted felon, and that he knew that he was not supposed to have a gun. Meador was prohibited from possessing any firearm under federal law because of a 2016 felony conviction in Kanawha County Circuit Court for third offense driving while license revoked for driving under the influence.
United States District Judge Irene C. Berger imposed the sentence in the Phillips case. United States District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin presided over the Meador trial and imposed the sentence.
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 with existing local programs targeting gun crime.