Alleged Marijuana User Facing Federal Charges

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today that Scott William Messenger, age 23, of Mason County has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of 1) selling a firearm to an unlawful user of marijuana; 2) possession of an unregistered firearm; 3) being an unlawful user of marijuana in possession of ten firearms and a large quantity of ammunition; 4) manufacture of marijuana; and 5) possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

It is a violation of federal law for a user of marijuana or other illegal controlled substances to possess firearms or ammunition, or to sell a firearm to a user of marijuana or other illegal controlled substances.

It is also a federal violation to manufacture marijuana or possess with intent to distribute marijuana, regardless of state law. The maximum penalty for the firearms violations is ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the marijuana violations is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Davis noted that Congress has determined that “unlawful users of controlled substances pose a risk to society if permitted to bear arms.”

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the State, Sheriffs, Chiefs Enforcement Narcotics Team (SSCENT); and the Mason County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Heath Lynch is prosecuting the case.

The charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.