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Press Release

Luzerne County Man Charged With Illegally Possessing A Firearm

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

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that a 38-year-old Mountaintop resident, who was indicted in January 2014 by a federal grand jury in Scranton for unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, was arrested yesterday by federal agents.

     According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the grand jury alleges that Joseph White unlawful possessed a Hi Point .45 caliber firearm in June 2013 in Kingston, Pennsylvania. The indictment alleges that, at the time he possessed the firearm, White was a convicted felon.   

     White appeared before Magistrate Judge Thomas M. Blewitt for his initial appearance.  Magistrate Judge Blewitt ordered White detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for next week.

     The charge stems from an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Kingston Police. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Deputy United States Marshals assisted in the apprehension of White.

     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 9, 2015