From a Release by U.S. Attorney's Office for Southern District of WV

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –  A Branchland man who broke in a local pawn shop and stole firearms on three separate occasions pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Huntington to multiple firearms charges, announced United States Attorney Mike Stuart. 

Robert Lee Reid, 23, entered guilty pleas to three counts of theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer and an additional count of possession of stolen firearms.  Stuart commended the investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) with assistance from the West Hamlin Police Department.

“Reid is a brazen criminal,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “He stole a total of 180 guns from the same store on three separate occasions.  He, in turn, sold the majority of the stolen guns to individuals in Huntington before being caught by law enforcement.  Reid should pay a heavy price.  Those guns could end up killing innocent people or law enforcement officers.  It’s a terrible, terrible crime.”

On three separate occasions, Reid broke into Sportsmen’s Gun and Pawn located at 6440 US Route 60 in Barboursville to steal firearms.  On May 15, 2017, Reid and another individual stole a total of 164 firearms from Sportsmen’s.  The firearms were subsequently sold by Reid and another individual in Huntington.  On September 29, 2017, Reid stole an additional 6 firearms from Sportsmen’s which he sold in the Guyandotte neighborhood of Huntington.  Finally, on December 7, 2017, Reid and another individual stole a total of 10 firearms from Sportsmen’s.  Reid and the other individual were subsequently picked up in a vehicle and the vehicle was stopped in West Hamlin by a West Hamlin Police Officer.  During the traffic stop, the officer located the stolen firearms in the rear of the vehicle where Reid and the other individual were seated.

Reid faces up to 10 years in federal prison for each conviction when he is sentenced on September 10, 2018. 

Assistant United States Attorney Joseph F. Adams is handling the prosecution.  United States District Judge Robert C. Chambers presided over today’s hearing.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.