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Press Release

Cambridge Man Sentenced for Possession of a Firearm Later Used to Kill Police Officer

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

BOSTON – A Cambridge man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for possession of the firearm with an obliterated serial number, which was later used to murder MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.

Merhawi Berhe, 22, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young to six months in prison and two years of supervised release.  In March 2016, Berhe pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

In January 2013, Berhe was in possession of, and transferred to another individual, a Ruger P95 9mm semiautomatic handgun with an obliterated serial number.   That individual subsequently transferred the Ruger to Stephen Silva who then provided the Ruger to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the Boston Marathon bombers.  On April 18, 2013, the Ruger was used by the Boston Marathon bombers to kill MIT Police Officer Sean Collier. 

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Lawrence J. Panetta, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colon Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Cambridge Police Commissioner Christopher Burke; and MIT Police Chief John DeFava, made the announcement today.  The Portland, Maine Police Department also assisted with the investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit.

Updated July 26, 2016