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Justice News

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

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Federal Jury Convicts Harrisburg Man Of Illegally Possessing A Firearm

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Eric Chambers, age 42, of Harrisburg, was convicted Wednesday, in federal court, for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon following a two-day trial before U.S. District Court Judge William W. Caldwell. The jury deliberated approximately 30 minutes.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Dauphin County had an active arrest warrant for Chambers following an attempted murder in September 2011. On January 9, 2012, police received a tip that Chambers was at the Red Roof Inn, Eisenhower Blvd., Harrisburg. Federal, state and local law enforcement responded and Chambers was arrested without incident.

     A subsequent search of the hotel room revealed that Chambers had a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun and a loaded magazine that was hidden in the trash can.

     Chambers was indicted by a federal grand jury for the illegal possession of a firearm in April 2012 as a result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Harrisburg Bureau Police Department and the Swatara Police Department.

     Last month, Chambers was convicted of attempted murder and other charges in Dauphin County.

     Chambers is awaiting sentencing on both the federal and county convictions.

     The federal case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Taylor.

     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 particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is life imprisonment. The federal statute also carries a 15 year mandatory minimum term of 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 9, 2015