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Press Release

Philadelphia Man Indicted for Firearms and Narcotics Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Nicholas Kirby, 45, of Philadelphia, PA, was arrested and charged by Indictment with multiple firearms and narcotics offenses related to his trafficking in those items. Specifically, the defendant is charged with one count of dealing in firearms without a license, four counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, five counts of distribution of fentanyl, and one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

The Indictment alleges that Kirby illegally sold five semiautomatic rifles in separate instances between January 25 through March 14, 2022. The Indictment further alleges that the defendant had been previously convicted of a felony before he possessed each of the firearms that he sold to others. Finally, the Indictment alleges that Kirby distributed fentanyl on five separate occasions between February 2, 2022, and March 10, 2022, and was found in possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute it on March 14, 2022.

“Our Office is committed to prosecuting those who commit violent crimes including illegally trafficking firearms and narcotics like fentanyl, both potentially lethal commodities,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “In this case, a Nicholas Kirby allegedly illegally possessed and sold firearms, and possessed and distributed fentanyl, which presents a clear danger to our community which is struggling under a surge of violent gun crime and overdose deaths.”

“This investigation is the result of law enforcement partners coming together for a common goal – to investigate individuals who illegally possess firearms,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “As the indictment alleges, this defendant could have endangered the lives of countless citizens by illegally putting guns onto our already gun-flooded streets. This indictment is the result of the hard work of our investigators, our partners with the DEA, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas M. Zaleski.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


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Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Updated October 13, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses