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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bradford County Man Sentenced To 77 Months’ Imprisonment For Stealing 48 Firearms And Distributing Heroin

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that on April 10, 2017, United States District Judge A. Richard Caputo sentenced Aaron L. Vanderpool, age 35, of Wysox, Pennsylvania, to 77 months’ imprisonment, for stealing 48 firearms and for distributing heroin.

 

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Vanderpool pleaded guilty to burglarizing Fulmer’s Sporting Goods, a federally licensed firearms dealer in Wysox, Pennsylvania, on or about May 24, 2015. Vanderpool admitted to stealing 48 firearms and to conspiring to transport 47 of them to New York, where they were sold and traded for heroin. Only three of the 48 firearms have been recovered by law enforcement. Vanderpool also admitted to distributing heroin on May 8, 2015.

 

Judge Caputo also ordered Vanderpool to pay $27,383.75 to the victims of his crimes.

 

Two other individuals have been charged in relation to the Fulmer’s Sporting Goods burglary. Jared Miller was charged in August 2016 and has entered a plea agreement to firearms and heroin trafficking offenses. Luis Mercado was charged in April 2017 and also has entered a plea agreement to firearms and heroin trafficking offenses.

 

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and by the Pennsylvania State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo.

 

This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes with firearms.

 

This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.

 

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Updated April 11, 2017