News and Press Releases

Kenyan Sentenced To Prison For Illegally Possessing Pistol

December 20, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., was sentenced on Dec. 17, 2010, in federal court to 37 months in prison and three years supervised release on his conviction of violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster imposed the sentence on Leo Nyangoko Chacha, 37, a native and citizen of Kenya, who last resided in Pittsburgh, Pa.

According to information presented to the court, Chacha was admitted to the United States on a non‑immigrant student visa, prior to Sept. 11, 2001, to learn how to fly planes. He failed to maintain his student immigration status and has been in the country illegally since shortly after 9/11. The defendant obtained a stolen 9mm caliber Kel‑Tec semi automatic pistol in the fall of 2008 and drove it from his home in Pittsburgh to the residence of one of his girlfriends in North‑Central Pennsylvania. There he brandished the gun, searched her residence for the other man he believed may be present and threatened to kill her. After finding no one, he left the residence.

ICE agents determined that Chacha had an active warrant for his arrest for missing a court hearing on a drug case from Arizona in 2000. Their investigation also revealed that Chacha was a regular user of marijuana when they recovered the 9mm handgun and ammunition from his home on Sept. 17, 2009.

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

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the State College (PA) Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Chacha.

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