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Press Release

Erie Felon Illegally Possessed a Firearm

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

ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.

William Anthony Eldridge, 58, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on or about May 18, 2020, Eldridge possessed a firearm while being a convicted felon.

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.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for Jan. 30, 2023, at 1:45 pm. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. 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.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul S. Sellers is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Erie Police Department and the Erie Law Enforcement Crime Task Force-Gun Working Group conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Eldridge. The Erie Law Enforcement Crime Task Force-Gun Working Group is a multi-agency taskforce consisting of federal, state, county and local law enforcement partners and agencies that formed in 2015 to combat gun violence in the Erie area.

Updated September 21, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses