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Justice News

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

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Erie Man Charged With Illegally Possessing A Firearm And Ammunition

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that James Presley, a 43-year-old Erie, Pennsylvania resident was indicted by a federal grand jury today for unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon in Luzerne County on May 15, 2014.

     According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the grand jury alleges that James Presley unlawful possessed a Hi Point 9mm firearm. The indictment alleges that at the time he possessed the firearm and ammunition Presley was a convicted felon.  

     The charge stems from an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Pennsylvania State Police.

     If the defendant is convicted of the charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francis P. Sempa.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 10 years imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 17, 2015