Cops and Courts, Latest News

Hazelton inmate, Preston County man indicted on federal charges

United States Attorney William Ihlenfeld announced federal indictments earlier this week for two area men with unrelated cases.

The first, Michael J. Carter, 37, is currently an inmate at the Hazelton Federal Corrections Institution in Bruceton Mills.

Carter is charged with 11 counts of transmitting threatening communication in interstate commerce after making phone calls and sending emails threatening a woman in Maryland or Virginia during September and October of this year.

The Dominion Post obtained copies of the indictment that details the threatening communications sent by Carter on each of the 11 counts, which allegedly occurred on Sept. 15, and Oct. 6, 9, 10, 11 and 12.

According to the detailed accounts in the document, Carter’s communications repeatedly threatened injury and death to the woman using vulgar language, as well as making death threats toward the woman’s mother and stepfather.

Many of the threats presented in the indictment related to sexual violence, accusing Carter of saying he was going to force her to perform sexual acts on others and then beat her for it, as well as threatening to burn the inside of her vagina and uterus using a curling iron so she could never have a child again.

During a telephone call on Oct. 10, Carter is said to have requested the woman bring the curling iron so he could burn her as well as “the biggest, sharpest kitchen knife” she had because he was going to stab her after he beat her.

He also requested she bring him a pair of pliers and a razor blade that he intended to use to cut off her nipples and eyelids and pull out her teeth and fingernails.  At other times he made requests for her to bring him an ice pick, a roll of duct tape, an extension cord and yellow rubber cleaning gloves.

In many of the calls or emails, Carter also threatened to kill the woman’s mother, and at one point her stepfather, if she didn’t do what he said.

On Oct.12, the last date of communication according to the indictment, Carter told the woman that “every killer or dangerous person he knows has every picture she ever sent to him,” along with “where she work at and her address, and told them to come after her and her mother.”  If she didn’t do what he says, “somebody will come to her mother’s house in ten minutes.”

According to a press release from Ihlenfeld’s office, Carter faces up to five years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the 11 counts.

In a separate case, Ihlenfeld announced Ricky R. Johnson, 41, of Masontown was indicted Wednesday on one count of unlawful possession of firearms after being accused of having a .22 caliber pistol in December 2021 in Preston County.  

According to the indictment, Johnson is a person prohibited from having firearms because of prior convictions, including a 2002 conviction of burglary in Preston County Circuit Court and a 2005 robbery in the second-degree and assault during the commission of a felony conviction in Monongalia County Circuit Court.

Johnson’s indictment includes a forfeiture allegation stating the government will seek the forfeiture of the Phoenix Arms semi-automatic pistol, model HP22, .22 caliber that Johnson was found in possession of, as well as associated ammunition.

Johnson faces up to 10 years of incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher L. Bauer is prosecuting both Johnson and Carter’s cases on behalf of the government.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt, but an accusation. 

TWEET @DominionPostWV