CHARLESTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Joshua Azale Mitchell, 21, of Charleston, pleaded guilty today to stealing firearms from two Kanawha County businesses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on November 9, 2022, Mitchell broke into a Dunbar business and stole a Diamondback Firearms DB15 5.56 caliber rifle and a Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22 .22-caliber rifle. On November 10, 2022, Mitchell broke into a Charleston business and stole a Custom Arms & Accessories LD-15 5.56 caliber rifle and a DPMS Panther Arms A-15 5.56 caliber rifle.
Mitchell pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of firearms from a federal firearms licensee and aiding and abetting the thefts. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 6, 2023, and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
Co-defendant Keara Kilpatrick, 21, of Charleston, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of firearms from a federal firearms licensee and aiding and abetting the thefts on July 12, 2023. Kilpatrick drove Mitchell to and from the two businesses for each break-in and theft. On November 11, 2022, Kilpatrick was driving on Washington Street in Charleston when law enforcement officers attempted a traffic stop of her vehicle. Kilpatrick fled before crashing her vehicle in a hotel parking lot. Officers recovered three of the four stolen firearms from Kilpatrick’s vehicle. Kilpatrick awaits sentencing.
United States Attorney Will Thompson made today’s announcement and commended the investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office and the Charleston Police Department.
United States District Judge Joseph Robert Goodwin presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorneys Ryan A. Keefe and Brian Parsons are prosecuting the case.