Beckley man sentenced to federal prison

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOAY) – United States Attorney Mike Stuart announced three felons appeared before a district judge for gun and drug crimes.

Justin Monroe, 34, of Beckley, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Monroe admitted that in Sept. 2019, he was a passenger of a vehicle stopped by state police. Troopers searched the vehicle hand found a pistol.

Monroe claimed ownership of the firearm on scene and later admitted to knowing he was a convicted felon and was not allowed to possess a firearm. Monroe has two prior felony convictions.

Desean Briscoe, 30, of Huntington, pled guilty to possession with the intent to distribute heroin and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Briscoe admitted that on Jan. 23, 2020, authorities executed a search warrant at his residence and found two firearms. After his arrest, officers found heroin on his person.

Briscoe is not permitted to own a firearm due to a 2015 felony conviction in Wayne County. He faces up to 30 years in federal prison when he is sentenced in February.

Joshua Paholsky, 47, of Huntington, pled guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. On Mar. 11, 2019, Paholsky was pulled over while leaving a Huntington residence. A drug canine alert led to a search of the vehicle, resulting in authorities finding heroin and a loaded gun.

Paholsky admitted to possessing the firearm despite a felony conviction for first degree robbery in Cabell County. He faces up to 10 years in prison when sentenced in February.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at