HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Michigan man involved in a police standoff in Huntington faces 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal gun charge.
Deandrew Fizer III pleaded guilty Monday to illegal firearm possession during a hearing in U.S. District Curt in Huntington.
Fizer was arrested on June 7 in Huntington after police responded to a burglary call on Sycamore Street.
Police found Fizer and another man living in the house that was supposed to vacant and up for sale. He surrendered to police after nearly an hour standoff.
Fizer told police following his arrest that he had the weapon for about a week.
Federal prosecutors say Fizer was not permitted to have a gun after being convicted of felonious assault in Wayne County, Michigan, in 2010.
Fizer will be sentenced on the federal charge in February.
The state charges against Fizer were dropped in September.
Federal prosecutors say in the indictment that Deandrew Fizer III, 23, of Romulus, Michigan, possessed a .45 caliber pistol on June 7 in Huntington.
Fizer was not permitted to have a gun after being in convicted of felonious assault in Wayne County, Michigan in June 2010.
If convicted on the federal gun charge, Fizer faces up to 10 years in prison
Fizer and anther man were involved in a standoff with Huntington Police on June 7 after officers responded to a break-in at house in the Sycamore Street in Huntington.
Fizer and Christopher Alan Jones, 25, of Huntington were both charged with burglary.
They were taken to the Western Regional Jai where each was being held on $50,000 cash bond.
Teresa Fulk, the realtor who had listed the vacant home for sale, discovered there was something wrong Friday morning when another realtor, who was trying to show the home to prospective buyers, called her.
“[She] said the key's missing from the lockbox, she said there's something not right going on here, she said we need to call the police,” Fulk said.
Fulk called police to meet her at the home on Sycamore Street so she wouldn’t have to go inside alone. Officers beat her there and went inside, finding one man with a gun nearby.
“As they were removing him from the house, they heard another one make a threat that we'd have to come and get him, and we believed him to be armed too, so we had a standoff,” Captain Mike Albers of the Huntington Police said.
“That's when I came over and then I walked up on the porch and they said get away, you know, get back so then I ran to the neighbors’ [across the street],” Fulk said.
Police ordered people to evacuate from their homes across the street and next to the house. Neighbors said they couldn’t believe this happened on their street – but some weren’t surprised, saying they had seen suspicious activity at the house.
“People just driving in the driveway, getting out of vehicles, going in the house and they would shut the door, and then they would go in there for a minute and then come back out, get back in the vehicle and just leave,” Christina Vance, a neighbor, said.
“Through the middle of the night -- taxis, lot of taxis, lot of beating on the doors, lot of people talking in the middle of the night,” Brent McComas, who lives around the corner, said. “I’ve got single-pane windows in my house. I can hear everything.”
McComas said when he looked out the window Friday, he saw SWAT officers all over his street and even on his Jeep.
They just ran through the side of the house here and all the way down and was laying across the van,” McComas said.
He and another neighbor helped Fulk get to a safe place after police ordered her away from the house.
“The cops was screaming at her telling her to get over the fence,” McComas said. “That’s when I ran over and helped her get over the fence.”
Police said DeAndrew Fizer, 22, and Christopher Alan Jones, 25, both of Huntington, were squatting in the vacant house. McComas and another neighbor on the street said they believed the two men were paying rent to the tenant who lived in the house before them and that it could be a miscommunication.
“There was a guy who had been renting it, but he left three months ago,” Fulk said.
McComas said the pair had been living there for approximately eight months.
“It was obvious that these guys didn't belong there. They'd broken in through the back door, they were coming and going through the back door, not the front door,” Captain Albers said.
When police brought the two men to jail Friday afternoon, one of the suspects told a WSAZ camera that he was just sleeping in his home when cops showed up.
No one was hurt in the standoff that lasted about an hour. Fizer and Jones are facing burglary charges. Police found crack cocaine and two guns in the home and said the pair will likely face more charges after an investigation.
Police say anyone who notices squatters in vacant homes should let law enforcement know what is happening.
The situation began about 11 a.m. Friday when a realtor went to show a home at 134 Sycamore St. in Huntington and noticed the lock-box had been broken off the door. The realtor then went inside and found a man sleeping in what was supposed to be a vacant home.
Police responded to the scene after the agent called 911 and the situation quickly turned into a standoff.
One of the men was quickly taken into custody, but the other man stayed in the house.
The suspects are identified as Christopher Alan Jones, 25, and DeAndrew Fizer, 22, both of Huntington. Both men are charged with burglary, according to criminal complaints from Cabell County Magistrate Court. They were taken to the Western Regional Jail, each being held on $50,000 cash bond.
A large group of armed officers and SWAT members then arrived and surrounded the home, trying to get the man, who they believed had gun, to come out.
About the same time, the listing agent for the property, Teresa Fulk, showed up at the home. Fulk ran across the street to another home and was lying on the floor.
"I have never been so scared in my entire life. I had a nervous breakdown, I think," Fulk said.
Officers quickly told Fulk that she had to get out of the home because she was directly in the line of fire and that it was not safe for her to be in the home.
As officers escorted Fulk out of the back of the home, they told Fulk that she was going to have to jump the fence in the backyard in order to get out of the line of fire.
"There is no way that I am going to be able to get over that fence. I can't do it," Fulk told officers.
The officers then told Fulk that she was going over the fence. "The next thing I knew, they picked me up and threw me over the fence," said Fulk. "I am so grateful, you have no idea."
Several homes in the area had to be evacuated during the standoff, due to safety concerns.
The incident ended just before noon when the man surrendered and was taken into custody.
During a perp walk Friday afternoon, one of the suspects told a WSAZ camera that he was just sleeping in his home when cops showed up.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.
The incident started shortly after 11 a.m. Friday on Sycamore Street at the intersection of Norway Avenue.
Our crew on the scene says that they were moved back by officers due to a safety concern.
Several armed officers closed Sycamore Street and several surrounding roads because of the incident.
No information is being released about why the home has been surrounded.
We have a crew on the scene.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.
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