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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 26, 2018

Federal Jury Convicts Pittsburgh Felon of Unlawfully Possessing a Loaded Firearm in Frick Park

PITTSBURGH, Pa – On the first day of deliberations, a federal jury found Nazim Burton guilty of one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Burton, age 41, of Pittsburgh, Pa., was tried before United States District Court Judge Reggie Walton in Pittsburgh.

According to Assistant United States Attorneys Timothy Lanni and Ira Karoll, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that on June 24, 2017 at approximately 11:30 p.m., Burton crashed his Ford Fusion into a parked car on South Braddock Avenue. An eyewitness observed Burton carrying a silver handgun and called 911. Pittsburgh Police responded to South Braddock Avenue and found Burton standing in Frick Park next to a garbage can. Inside the garbage can, Pittsburgh officers recovered a loaded black and silver Smith and Wesson .40 caliber SD40VE semi-automatic handgun. Upon recovery, Pittsburgh officers discovered that the serial number on the firearm was not visible. A blood test later performed on Burton revealed that he was operating the vehicle with a .275 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

Burton was previously convicted in 2006 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania for conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams of more of crack cocaine and 500 grams or more of cocaine. Burton was on federal supervised release on June 24, 2017.

"The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to prosecuting repeat violent offenders who possess illegal firearms," stated U.S. Attorney Brady. "As part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the federal program to combat the illegal use of firearms, our Office will continue to work with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and all of our state and local law enforcement partners to aggressively prosecute firearms offenses."

Judge Walton scheduled sentencing for November 30, 2018 at 2 p.m. Burton faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense. Judge Walton revoked Burton’s bond at the time of the jury’s verdict. Burton will be detained pending sentencing.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation into Burton.

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.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated July 26, 2018