Former Mason County deputy admits to selling weapon seized in investigation

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Terry Lee Powell, 42, of Point Pleasant admitted he sold a weapon that he seized in an investigation. (MGN Online)

A former Mason County deputy pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession of a stolen firearm, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart announced in a news release.

Terry Lee Powell, 42, of Point Pleasant admitted he seized a World War II era Luger 9mm pistol during an investigation he was conducting on July 4, 2015, at a home in Ashton. Rather than logging the weapon as evidence, Powell apparently sold it for $2,500 to Eugene Asbury of Gallipolis Ferry, the release said.

Mason County Sheriff Gregory Powers conducted an internal investigation of Powell after learning West Virginia State troopers found evidence of Powell’s theft and sale of the pistol while executing a federal search warrant at Asbury’s residence in April 2016, the release said. Asbury later pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and money laundering charges as a result of the investigation, the release said.

“The overwhelming majority of our law enforcement officers conduct themselves with honor and integrity, and this United States Attorney will have their backs every single day,” Stuart said in the release. “However, when a law enforcement official breaks the law, my office will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. For a law enforcement officer such as Powell to steal a gun and sell it to a drug dealer is unconscionable, a violation of public trust, a rebuke of the very law he swore to uphold, and a disgrace to his fellow officers.”

Powell faces up to 10 years in federal prison when he is sentenced Sept. 18. Asbury will be sentenced July 30.

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