Johnstown Felon Indicted On Gun Charge
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - Acting United States Attorney Robert S. Cessar announced today, June 15, 2010, that Rogelin M. Lopez, a resident of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Johnstown on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The one-count indictment named Lopez, age 23, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment presented to the court, on December 24, 2009, Lopez, who had been convicted in 2006 in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, of delivery of a controlled substance, unlawfully possessed a Smith & Wesson pistol. Federal law prohibits persons who have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year from possessing ammunition or firearms. Delivery of a controlled substance is such a crime.
Assistant United States Attorney John J. Valkovci, Jr., who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
According to Mr. Cessar, Lopez is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent, deter, and prosecute gun crime.
The Johnstown Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Laurel Highlands Resident Agency) conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.