Man with Prior Felony Convictions Charged with Violating Federal Drug and Gun Laws
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal firearms and narcotics laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The two-count indictment, returned on May 7, named Charles Howard, III, 32.
According to the indictment, on or about March 28, 2012, Howard, who has prior felony convictions, possessed a firearm. Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year from possessing a firearm. Also on or about March 28, 2012, Howard possessed and intended to distribute crack cocaine.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence for the firearms offense of not less than 15 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $250,000.00, or both. The law also provides for a maximum total sentence for the narcotics offense of 30 years in prison, a fine of $2,000,000.00, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan B. Ortiz is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
This case 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.