News and Press Releases

Drug User Admits Illegally Possessing Semi-Automatic Weapon

February 26, 2013

JOHNSTOWN, PA. - A resident of Bolivar, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

David McGinnis, 20, pleaded guilty to the indictment before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.

In connection with the guilty plea, on May 6, 2012, McGinnis, while an unlawful user of heroin, possessed a Hi-Point, Model JCP, 40 caliber semi-automatic pistol. Federal law prohibits possessing a firearm while unlawfully using a controlled substance, or when addicted to a controlled substance.

Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for July 2, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. 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, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Haines is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Laurel Highlands Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of McGinnis.

According to Mr. Hickton, McGinnis 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.

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