Beckley Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Drug and Gun Crimes

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BECKLEY, W.Va. – Michael Bryant, 62, of Beckley, pleaded guilty today to federal drug and gun crimes.

According to court documents, Bryant admitted selling fentanyl to a confidential informant on three separate occasions in March 2021. The drug transactions occurred at his residence on Hunt Street in Beckley. 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.  Bryant admitted that he knew he was prohibited from possessing firearms as a result of his two prior felony convictions for unlawful assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Bryant pleaded guilty to distribution of fentanyl and being a felon in possession of a firearm and faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 19, 2022.

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 is comprised 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 presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Negar Kordestani is handling the prosecution.

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-00199.