Michael W. Collins (39 y.o.a. from St. Albans) was charged on Friday with three counts of Prohibited Possession of a Firearms after allegedly pawning a gun on three separate occasions during the month of December 2015. An investigation revealed Collins pawned a firearm on December 4th, December 16th, and December 22nd all at the Kanawha Valley Fine Jewelry & Loan at 101 MacCorkle Avenue in St. Albans.
Sgt. P. A. Bass obtained a warrant for the arrest of Collins on the evening of Friday February 5th. He was arrested without incident at his residence on Friday at about 9:30pm by officers of the St. Albans Police Department including the department’s Special Enforcement Unit.
Collins was convicted of a felony drug charge on March 11, 2014. Since this underlying felony charge is a drug charge involving marijuana, under WV state law it is ONLY a MISDEMEANOR for person with such a conviction to possess a firearm. He faces a fine of 90 days to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of $100-$1000 fine.
The investigation continues. Consultation will be sought with the US Attorney’s Office regarding possibly charges under Federal law which would be a felony.
All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
(If the earlier drug conviction involved any other Schedule I drug besides marijuana, any Schedule II or III drug, a felony crime of violence, or a felony sexual offense, possession a firearm under WV state law would be a felony and punishable up to five years in jail and/or a fine up to $5000.)