News and Press Releases

Mt. Pleasant Man Pleads Guilty To Explosives, Firearms Charges

June 17, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Mt. Pleasant, Pa., has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal explosives and firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

James E. McCloy, 61, pleaded guilty on June 16, 2011, to four counts before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that McCloy conspired to distribute explosive materials, both commercial display fireworks, like mortars which may not be sold to or possessed by individuals, and illegal explosive devices, which no one may legally possess. McCloy also entered a guilty plea to two counts of illegal transportation of explosives, and to a single count of possession of nine firearms. McCloy is prohibited from possessing firearms due to a 1999 federal explosives conviction in the Northern District of Ohio, for which he was sentenced to one year in prison.

The conspiracy existed between 2006 and 2008, when federal agents executed search warrants in Mt. Pleasant and several other locations in Western Pennsylvania, seizing tractor‑trailer loads of explosives. Some of these explosives are powerful enough that a single device can destroy a car.  The total weight of explosives seized substantially exceeded 10,000 pounds.

Three other individuals from Mt. Pleasant have pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and are awaiting sentencing in July. These individuals include James McCloy's brother, Howard F. McCloy; his nephew, Harold McCloy, Jr.; and Fred D. Collins.

Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for Nov. 3, 2011.  The law provides for a total maximum sentence of 10 years 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 offenses and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

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

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in Pittsburgh and Wheeling, West Virginia, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of McCloy.

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