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Press Release

Scranton Man Sentenced To Two Years’ Imprisonment For Straw Purchasing Firearms

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

SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Edwin Smith, age 27, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced yesterday to 24 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani for aiding and abetting another to make false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer in order to acquire a Smith & Wesson Shield .45 caliber handgun.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Smith paid another individual to purchase ten firearms from several Scranton-area firearms dealers and make false statements as to the identity of the actual buyer of the firearms. Upon the execution of a search warrant at Smith’s residence, one of the falsely purchased firearms was recovered.

In addition to the two-year imprisonment sentence, Judge Mariani order Smith to serve two years of supervised release upon his release from custody.  Judge Mariani also ordered that the sentence run consecutive to an unrelated sentence imposed in Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas for a 2020 robbery offense.

The matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Pennsylvania State Police, Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office, and the Scranton Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney James Buchanan and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Gallagher prosecuted the case.

This case was part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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Updated February 9, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses