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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Convicted Felon Charged with Firearm and Drug Law Violations

PITTSBURGH, PA- A resident of Duquesne, PA, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal drug and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The three-count Indictment, returned on July 30 and unsealed today, named Rarji Neal, 26, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, on December 11, 2018, Neal possessed with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and a quantity of cocaine. The indictment further alleges that Neal unlawfully possessed a Ruger 9 millimeter firearm, a Glock 9 millimeter firearm, an Intratec 9 millimeter firearm, and ammunition, after being convicted of carrying a firearm without a license. Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $5,000,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Christy Criswell Wiegand is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated August 8, 2019