Government, The Braxton Democrat

Gun Theft Leads to Arrest of Exchange Man

An incident in early August has led to the arrest of an Exchange man last week. According to the criminal complaint, three Exchange residents came to the Braxton County Sheriffs office on August 10 to report that five guns had been stolen from their home.
Sgt. Luke Johnson of the Braxton County Sheriff’s Department took the complaint and began the investigation. Those reporting the theft identified Kristian Ray Harrell, 27, of Exchange as the alleged perpetrator of the theft.
The guns taken were identified as a Winchester Model 94 30-30, a Taurus 692, 357 revolver, a Taurus Model 856, 357 revolver, a Sedco SP 22 semi-automatic handgun, and Phoenix HP 22 semi-automatic. The valued of the firearms was listed at $1,900.
Sgt. Johnson’s investigation revealed an outstanding warrant for Harrell which led to his arrest on that unrelated matter on August 10.
During questioning, following his arrest, Harrell confesses to taking one of the five weapons. That gun, the Winchester 30-30, was retrieved at a Pawn Shop in Summersville.
Later in the month, Harrell voluntarily came to the Deputies office in Sutton where he confessed to taking the remaining guns. That confession led to the retrieval of three more guns from the same pawn shop. The accused told the officer that the 357 Taurus had been traded to a man in Clarksburg for a Play Station gaming system. Sgt. Johnson was unable to locate that weapon and subsequently entered the firearm into the NCIC database as a stolen gun.
On August 31, Harrell was officially charged in Braxton County Magistrate Court with Grand Larceny and Burglary. He was arraigned before Magistrate David Singleton where his bond was set at $5,000 cash. At press-time, Harrell was still incarcerated at the Central Regional Jail in lieu of that bond awaiting additional court appearances.
If convicted, the accused faces up to 25 years in prison and fines up to $2,500.
The West Virginia State Police and ATF Task Force assisted in the investigation.