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Press Release

Scranton Woman Pleads Guilty To Making Straw Purchases Of 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 today that Crystal Muentes, age 34, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty on September 7, 2017, before United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion, to a conspiracy to make false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer.


According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Muentes admitted that she provided false information regarding the purchase of two firearms from Dave’s Gun Shop, in Drums, Luzerne County, on June 1, 2016 and June 17, 2016, and the purchase of a firearm from Ed’s Sports Shop in Tamaqua, Schuylkill County, on June 17, 2016.


This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Scranton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. O’Hara is prosecuting the case.


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.


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


A sentencing date for Muentes has not yet been scheduled.


The maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is five 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.


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Updated September 11, 2017

Firearms Offenses