Man arrested for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm after allegedly threatening children

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man was arrested after he was found with several firearms in his home despite allegedly being banned from possessing them.

Stephen M. Sears, 45, of Buckhannon, was arrested for being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, a felony.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Cole Bender, on Sunday, Feb. 26, at 11:48 p.m., Bender was contacted by someone who babysits Sears’s children. The person said they felt as though “the children were in danger based off things she had seen in the home.”

Bender told the babysitter to make a CPS referral to report what they had witnessed, but the person also advised there was a firearm in the household and was willing to give a statement. Bender met the person at their residence in Upshur County, and in her written statement, she said she allegedly saw a shotgun in the residence on Whispering Way Road Buckhannon.

The babysitter further stated that Sears allegedly “made threats with the firearm to members of the household,” according to the file.

According to the complaint, Bender discovered Sears had a drug-related charge in Lewis County with a conviction date of Aug. 4, 2016, qualifying him as a prohibited person. Bender then obtained a search warrant for Sears’s residence, which he executed at 2:17 a.m. Feb. 28 with the assistance of Lt. Marshall Powers with the sheriff’s office, Sgt. Marshall O’Connor with the Buckhannon Police Department and Cpl. S.W. Shahan of the West Virginia State Police.

Police allegedly found two 12-gauge shotguns and a .22-caliber rifle on the property, according to the report. As officers executed the search warrant, Sears arrived at the residence, and after being advised of what was happening, he was placed under arrest.

Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $15,000 cash or surety.

The potential penalty for a conviction of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm is confinement in a state correctional facility for not more than five years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!