News and Press Releases

New Kensington Man Pleads Guilty In Gun Shop Burglary

August 17, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of New Kensington, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court on Monday to charges of stealing guns from a New Kensington gun dealer and conspiring with others to do so, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Daniel T. Johnson, 20, pleaded guilty to two counts before Senior United States District Judge Alan N. Bloch.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on December 14, 2009, Jolar, Inc., a federally‑licensed firearms dealer located in New Kensington, was burglarized when individuals cut the lock off the outer gate, moved the security camera, smashed the front window with a brick and stole three AR‑15 type assault rifles and 11 pistols. The perpetrators cut themselves breaking the glass cases where the pistols were stolen. The investigation quickly focused on Johnson and his co‑defendants.

The defendant confessed, basically stating that the co‑defendants contacted a juvenile who agreed to create a diversion for police. The three co‑defendants then traveled to Jolar where one turned the security camera and was the lookout; another cut the lock, entered the store and cut himself stealing pistols; and Johnson entered the store and stole the rifles. Two of the stolen pistols were recovered from a heating duct in Johnson's house.

Judge Bloch scheduled sentencing for Dec.16, 2010, at 11:30 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 15 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court placed the defendant on electronic monitoring at his mother's home.

Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the New Kensington Police Department, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Johnson.

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