News and Press Releases

Bolivian Native Sentenced for Involvement in Straw
Purchases of Firearms

May 18, 2012

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a native and citizen of Bolivia was sentenced in Scranton Thursday for his involvement in a scheme to straw purchase firearms.

     United States Attorney Peter J. Smith stated that Absner Antonio Justiniano, age 45, a native and citizen of Bolivia, was sentenced by District Court Senior Judge Richard P. Conaboy to nine months in prison and subject to deportation from the United States for aiding and abetting another to violate federal firearms laws. In July 2011, agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives began a joint investigation with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police department into Justiniano’s purchase of 13 firearms. The investigation revealed that Justiniano approached another individual to purchase rifles and shotguns. Justiniano, not being a United States citizen, was not permitted to make the purchases himself. Justiniano deposited money into two bank accounts of the other individual. That person then “straw” purchased the firearms and answered falsely on the federal firearms forms that he was the actual buyer of the firearms.

     The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in conjunction with the Pocono Regional Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian A. Fisanick, Chief of the Criminal Division.


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