Three men sentenced to federal prison

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Defendants in three separate cases appeared in federal court and have been sentenced to prison.

Dachaun Marcies Thaxton of Charleston was sentenced to 106 months in prison for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. Thaxton was also ordered to serve a five-year term of supervised release. Thaxton previously admitted that on March 14 and 19, 2019 and April 1, 2019, he distributed methamphetamine to a confidential informant working with law enforcement in Dunbar, Kanawha County, West Virginia.

Tyerice Martell Irvin of Columbus, Ohio was sentenced to 60 months in prison for carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. He will also serve five years on supervised release after completing his prison sentence. Irvin previously admitted that on April 5, 2019, he was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by law enforcement for a traffic violation. Based on the smell of marijuana in the vehicle, officers decided to conduct a search of the vehicle and Irvin was asked to step out of the vehicle, which he did. An officer then began to pat Irvin down for weapons. During the pat-down, the officer felt a firearm on Irvin. Irvin pushed the officer and fled the area. Officers began to chase Irvin and he ran toward the area of the stores at Patrick Street Plaza. During the chase, Irvin admitted to throwing a loaded semi-automatic Beretta 948 .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol into a dumpster near the Rent-A-Center store while fleeing. He also ran through the Rent-A-Center store where he threw a bag of marijuana in his possession. Officers eventually apprehended him in front of the Rent-A-Center store. Officers found a bag of what they believed at the time was heroin on Irvin but laboratory testing later confirmed the substance to be 3.167 grams of fentanyl.

Mark Matthew Smith 30 of Parkersburg was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony. Upon release from prison, Smith will serve three years of federal supervised release. On December 6, 2017, Smith was a passenger in a vehicle stopped by Parkersburg Police at 3:00 a.m. at the intersection of East Street and 7th Street. Smith admitted that there was a firearm in the vehicle but refused to tell the officer where it was. When Smith began moving his arm toward the vehicle’s center console, the officer directed Smith to get out of the vehicle. An officer retrieved a KAHR .45 caliber pistol from the passenger seat floorboard. Smith was wearing a concealed carry holster wrapped around his chest. An officer ran Smith’s criminal history and learned that he had been convicted of several felonies including forgery, grand larceny, and drug possession. Upon searching him incident to the arrest, police found methamphetamine, cocaine base, several buprenorphine tablets, five counterfeit $100 bills, and six Social Security cards belonging to other people in Smith’s pockets.

On October 31, 2019, Smith pled guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

These cases are part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019,