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Press Release

Berkeley County woman indicted on firearms charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of West Virginia

MARTINSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA – A Hedgesville, West Virginia woman is facing multiple firearms charges after being indicted by a federal grand jury today, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Shauntae Cherie Placko, age 29, was indicted on two counts of “False Statement During Purchase of a Firearm” and one count of “False Statement or Representation Made to a Department or Agency of the United States.” Placko is accused of making false statements when purchasing a pistol and a rifle from two different firearms dealers. She is also accused of lying to an ATF agent. The crimes allegedly took place in October 2017 and February 2018 in Berkeley County.

Placko faces up to 10 years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the firearms counts, and faces up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $250,000 for the false statement count. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Omps-Botteicher is prosecuting the cases on behalf of the government. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated.

An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated May 15, 2018

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods