Career Offender Charged with Illegally Possessing Weapons and Drugs
PITTSBURGH – A Pittsburgh man with multiple state court convictions has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The two-count indictment, returned on Feb. 18, named Jeremiah Pashuta, 35, as the sole defendant.
According to court filings, on Aug. 6, 2013, Pashuta possessed a sawed-off shotgun and two semi-automatic pistols on the day Pittsburgh Police Officers executed a search warrant at his residence. Police also located approximately 649 stamp bags containing a total of 49.84 grams of heroin, thousands of dollars in cash, a drug scale and records of drug debts. Pashuta has had multiple state court convictions for drug dealing, illegal gun possession and threats in the past. Federal law makes it illegal for a person to possess a firearm or ammunition after a state court conviction for an offense carrying a maximum penalty of more than one year in prison.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 15 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $2,250,000 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 of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. 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.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.