DOJ Seal Department of Justice  
United States Attorney John M. Bales
Eastern District of Texas

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            CONTACT:  DAVILYN WALSTON
TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2010            PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txe             CELL: (409) 553-9881 DIRECT: (409) 981-7902

 

PORT ARTHUR MAN SENT TO FEDERAL PRISON FOR OPERATION TIME MACHINE GUN CRIME

            BEAUMONT, Texas – A 36-year-old Port Arthur, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison as a result of Operation Time Machine in the Eastern District of Texas announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

            Chad Allen Piazza was convicted by a jury on Nov. 19, 2009, of being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.

            According to information presented in court, in Sep. 2008, Piazza sold a stolen rifle and shotgun to a Port Neches resident.  The purchaser became suspicious that the guns were actually stolen after reading a newspaper report describing a burglary which occurred during the evacuation for Hurricane Gustav and contacted police.  Further investigation revealed that Piazza was a convicted felon and prohibited from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition.  Piazza was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2001 in Jefferson County.  Piazza was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 15, 2009, and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

            This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods' Operation Time Machine program. Operation Time Machine is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in Port Arthur, Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

            This case was investigated by the ATF, Groves Police Department and the Nederland Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ross and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Baylor Wortham.

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