News and Press Releases

Felon Facing 15 Years To Life For Illegally Possessing Pistol

October 18, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal gun laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

James Gardner, Jr., 37, pleaded guilty to one count on Friday, Oct. 15, 2010, before Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on Aug. 29, 2008, Pittsburgh Police officers made a traffic stop of a jitney (taxi) in the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh.  Gardner, the passenger in the jitney, had a .40 caliber pistol stuffed into his pants, loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition. Gardner=s prior felony drug convictions in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas made him ineligible under federal law to possess any firearm.

Judge Lancaster scheduled sentencing for Feb. 25, 2011. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 15 years to life in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court ordered that the detention of Gardner be continued.

Assistant United States Attorney Gregory L. Nescott is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Gardner.

This case is being prosecuted under Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent, deter, and prosecute gun crime.

Return to Top


USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Justice 101
Opioid Overdose Reduction Action Plan
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Western District of Pennsylvania

honors October 2014 as

National Domestic Violence
Awareness Month

If you or someone you know
has been a victim of domestic violence please contact the
National Domestic Violence
Hotline at:



Text PGHOD to Tip411 (847411)
Victim Witness Assistance

Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.

Stop Fraud

Protect yourself from fraud, and report suspected cases of financial fraud to local law enforcement.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.