Tribal Member Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Firearm
POCATELLO – Titus Ponzo, 37, of Pocatello, Idaho, pled guilty yesterday in United States District Court to the charge of felon in possession of a firearm, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Ponzo was indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2012.
According to the plea agreement, Ponzo admitted that he illegally purchased a .22 caliber rifle from an individual and then sold it in the spring of 2011 to another person on the Fort Hall Shoshone-Bannock Indian Reservation. Ponzo is prohibited from possessing firearms due to his 2004 conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year. The government is seeking forfeiture of the two firearms named in the indictment.
The charge of possession of a firearm by a felon is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
Ponzo is scheduled to be sentenced on February 19, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.
The case was investigated by the Fort Hall Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). It was prosecuted as part of Idaho’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, which seeks to reduce gun violence in Idaho.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.