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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Hampshire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Manchester Woman Sentenced to 6 months for Straw Purchase of Firearm for Massachusetts Felon

            CONCORD – Jessica Fithian, 34, of Manchester, New Hampshire, was sentenced in federal court to 6 months in prison for purchasing a firearm for a Massachusetts felon, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.

            According to court documents and statements made in court, Fithian agreed with co-defendant Matthew Bergeron to purchase a firearm, ammunition, and an extended clip magazine on Bergeron’s behalf in July and August 2016, from a federally licensed firearms dealer in Hooksett, New Hampshire.   In completing the purchase of the firearm, Fithian falsely stated that she was purchasing the firearm for herself when she was, in fact, purchasing it for Bergeron.  At the time, Bergeron was a previously convicted felon and a resident of Massachusetts, and could not legally purchase firearms for himself in New Hampshire.  The scheme to acquire the firearm came to light after the firearm was recovered in late August 2016 in connection with a shooting incident in Leominster, Massachusetts, where Bergeron was present.

            A federal grand jury indicted Fithian and Bergeron in November 2016.  Bergeron previously pleaded guilty to his conduct involving Ms. Fithian and an additional individual, and was sentenced to 78 months imprisonment in June 2017.  Fithian pleaded guilty in March 2017.  Following the completion of her term of imprisonment, Fithian has been ordered to serve a term of 3 years of supervised release.

            “In order to reduce violent crime and protect our community, we must prevent convicted felons from obtaining firearms” said U.S. Attorney Murray.  “The imposition of a prison sentence in this case should serve as a warning to those who would be willing to provide firearms to felons.”

            “ATF is determined to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.  Far too many violent crimes result from straw purchasers buying guns for people who are prohibited from having them.  ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue and arrest those who commit these criminal acts,” said ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Lawrence Panetta.

            This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  The case is part of ATF’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which is a federally-funded program intended to reduce gun violence through law enforcement training, public education, and aggressive law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute gun-related crimes.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles L. Rombeau.

            The case is part of ATF’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, a federally-funded program intended to reduce gun violence through law enforcement training, public education, and aggressive law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute gun-related crimes. 

 

           

 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-112
Updated June 19, 2018