News and Press Releases

Man Sentenced for Felon in Possession of Firearm and Unlawful Possession of United States Marshals Service Badge

January 24, 2003

Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, Charles Almanza, United States Marshal for the District of Nevada, and Keith Heinzerling, Resident Agent-in-Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for the Las Vegas, Nevada Field Office, announce that MICHAEL LUGIAI, age 33, a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced today to 27 months in federal prison for his guilty pleas to being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of official law enforcement identification.

According to the court records, on or about April 16, 2002, at the Art Institute of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada, LUGIAI, an employee of the Institute, told a woman who was inquiring about the school that he was a Special Agent with the U.S. Marshals Service. MICHAEL LUGIAI also showed the woman a law enforcement badge and identification card identifying him as a Special Agent with the U.S. Marshals Service. LUGIAI then requested that the woman accompany him to his home to further discuss admission to the Institute. The woman became very uncomfortable, and immediately left the Institute and contacted the United States Marshals Service. Two other employees of the school, including the defendant's supervisor, advised law enforcement agents that the defendant had previously displayed his badge and stated that he worked for the U.S. Marshals Service, and that he had also boasted that he was a former Special Forces member in the U.S. Military. The U.S. Marshals Service badge used by the defendant was found in an office at the Institute and was determined to be counterfeit.

A search warrant executed at the defendant's home at 549 Aspen Leaf in Las Vegas uncovered a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol on a shelf of the computer table in the defendant's bedroom, and a loaded .357 caliber handgun on the night stand in the defendant's bedroom. Investigation of the defendant's background revealed that in 1994, he had been convicted by the State of Illinois for felony False Impersonation of a Police Officer. Under Title 18 ,United States Code, Section 922(g)(1), it is unlawful for any person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year to possess a firearm which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce. Both firearms were forfeited as part of the plea agreement.

LUGIAI was also placed on three years of supervised release, ordered to use his own name while on supervised release, and ordered to perform 150 hours of community work service.

Deputies with the United States Marshals Service and Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, conducted the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Darin LaHood. 

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