Northampton County Man Indicted for Illegally Possessing Guns, Homemade Bombs, and Unlawfully Operating Drones
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Jason Muzzicato, 43, of Bangor, Pennsylvania was charged by Superseding Indictment with possession of firearms by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, and knowingly operating an aircraft when not registered. Muzzicato was also previously charged in June with possession of firearms by a person subject to a court order restraining him from harassing, stalking and threatening an intimate partner (known as a domestic violence protective order, Protection From Abuse order or PFA), and possession of an unregistered destructive device (an improvised explosive device). These charges are pending before United States District Judge Joseph F. Leeson in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The charges against the defendant stem from his possession of firearms and homemade bombs, while subject to the terms of a PFA order issued by the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas, and while being an unlawful user of methamphetamine. Under federal law, an individual who is subject to a PFA order is prohibited from possessing firearms. The defendant is also charged with unlawful operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone). As alleged in the Superseding Indictment, the defendant possessed a DJI, Model Phantom 3, unmanned aerial vehicle (drone), seven improvised explosive devices and ten firearms, including multiple AR-15 rifles and semi-automatic pistols.
“It does not take much imagination to conjure up the enormous harm that can result from the combination of illegal firearms, explosives, and drone aircrafts,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Adding methamphetamine and a disregard of court orders to the mix only serves to heighten the risk. Here the defendant’s alleged behavior violated the law and threatened public safety.”
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 33 years’ imprisonment, three years’ supervised release, a $760,000 fine, and a $400 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Allentown Resident Agency; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Reading Field Office; the Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General, Fort Washington Field Office; the Washington Township Police Department; the Pennsylvania State Police; and the Bethlehem Fire Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Gallagher.
An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.