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ABINGDON, Virginia – Donald Ray Clark, a Lebanon, Virginia man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. Acting United States Attorney Daniel P. Bubar and Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Washington Field Division made the announcement today.

“Keeping firearms out of felons’ hands is critical to reducing violence and keeping our communities safe, as evidenced by this case,” Acting United States Attorney Bubar said today. “I commend the ATF, Russell County Sheriff’s Office, and Virginia State Police for their work in bringing Mr. Clark to justice.”

According to court documents, on December 17, 2018, while investigating a homicide on Pittston Road in Lebanon, officers heard shots fired from a next-door residence. Clark was found inside the home with a .22 caliber revolver and several live and spent rounds of .22 caliber ammunition. The side door of his residence had bullet holes visible in the glass from where shots had been fired through the door.  

At the time Clark possessed the firearm and ammunition, he knowingly had been convicted of multiple felonies.  Clark also was convicted of second-degree murder and other state charges related to the incidents on December 17, 2018.  The firearm associated with Clark’s federal charge was unrelated to the state murder conviction.

Clark, 57, will be sentenced for his firearm charge on January 12, 2021. At sentencing, Clark faces up to 10 years in federal prison. 

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Russell County Sheriff’s Office, and Virginia State Police.  Assistant United States Attorney Lena Busscher is prosecuting the case for the United States.  

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