News and Press Releases

Felon Sentenced to Prison for Unlawfully Possessing Guns, Ammo and Controlled Substances

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2013

PITTSBURGH - Felix Cruz was sentenced in federal court in Pittsburgh for violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Cruz, 50, formerly of Houston, Pa., was sentenced by United States District Judge Gustave Diamond to serve 46 months in prison followed by three years supervised release for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm on Nov. 8, 2011. Cruz unlawfully possessed a pistol, two semi-automatic rifles with high-capacity magazines, another rifle, and a shotgun, along with 1,290 rounds of ammunition, at his place of employment in Washington County. By 2011, Cruz was prohibited from lawfully purchasing or possessing any firearms as a result of a prior felony conviction in New York for criminal possession of a loaded firearm. Some of the firearms Cruz possessed were unlawfully “straw purchased” for him by other people who could pass a background check. The straw purchasers have been prosecuted for doing so.

In addition to unlawfully possessing the firearms and ammunition at his place of employment, Cruz possessed several vials of synthetic drugs containing AM-2201, which has been designated as a Schedule I controlled substance as a result of its harmful health effects and the toll it has taken on many users, particularly adolescents and teenagers. Cruz was distributing the drugs, sometimes referred to as “K2” or “spice”, from his place of employment in addition to storing his firearms there.

Assistant United States Attorney Craig W. Haller prosecuted this case on behalf of the United States.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Pennsylvania State Police investigated this case. This case was 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.

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