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Press Release

Schenectady Man Pleads Guilty to Straw Purchasing a Shotgun Later Used to Fire Shots Outside of Temple Israel

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Andrew Miller, age 38, of Schenectady, New York, pled guilty today to conspiring with Mufid Fawaz Alkhader to illegally purchase a shotgun for Alkhader.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman; Craig L. Tremaroli, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Bryan Miller, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), made the announcement.

Miller admitted that between October 1, 2023 and November 6, 2023, he and Alkhader conspired to lie to a firearms dealer in Albany County that he (Miller) was the actual buyer of a Kel-Tec 12-gauge pump shotgun, when in reality, Alkhader was the true buyer.  Miller and Alkhader came up with the plan because they believed that Alkhader could not lawfully purchase the shotgun himself.  Miller further admitted that on November 5, 2023, he lied on the Firearms Transaction Record (ATF Form 4473) submitted to the gun shop when he falsely stated that he was the true purchaser of the shotgun.  On November 6, 2023, Miller and Alkhader returned to the gun shop wherein Miller took possession of the shotgun.  Miller also admitted that later on November 6, 2023, he transferred the shotgun to Alkhader. 

The shotgun purchased by Miller and given to Alkhader is the same shotgun alleged to have been possessed and shot by Alkhader outside of Temple Israel on December 7, 2023

Miller will be sentenced on October 18, 2024, by United States District Judge Anne M. Nardacci.  Miller faces up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors. Judge Nardacci ordered Miller released with conditions pending sentencing.

Alkhader is charged by complaint with two firearms crimes. The charges in the complaint against Alkhader are merely accusations. He is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the ATF, and the Albany Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rick Belliss and Alexander Wentworth-Ping are prosecuting this case.

Updated June 20, 2024

Firearms Offenses