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Press Release

Braddock Man Pleads Guilty to Possession of Machine Gun

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Braddock, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of being in possession of a machine gun, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

Luther Antwon Harper Jr., 19, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

In connection with the guilty plea, the Court was advised that, on April 5, 2023, Harper unlawfully possessed a machine gun, which, in this instance, was an automatic conversion kit/switch affixed to the rear slide of a Glock 22, .40 caliber pistol, or a “Glock switch.” This conversion kit/switch made the firearm capable of firing in a fully automatic capacity.

Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for May 6, 2024. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, and a term of supervised release of up to three years. Under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Court continued to detain Harper pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Nicole A. Stockey is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Allegheny County Police Department’s Violent Crimes and Firearms Unit conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Harper.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Updated February 2, 2024

Topics
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses