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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 1, 2021

Former Penn Hills Man Pleads Guilty Mid-Trial in Series of Armed Robberies Occurring in Late 2014

PITTSBURGH – After the government spent three days presenting witnesses and evidence to a jury, George Wilson, III entered a plea of guilty in federal court to firearms charges, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today. Wilson’s trial had commenced on Monday, September 27, 2021.

Wilson, age 39, and a former resident of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to four firearms counts before United States District Judge Reggie B. Walton on September 30, 2021. In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Wilson committed a series of armed robberies of retail businesses and gas station convenience stores throughout the Pittsburgh area from November 2014 through December 2014. Wilson committed each of the robberies at gunpoint and shot a store employee who was unable to open the cash register during the attempted robbery of the Ross Township The Exchange store.

Judge Walton scheduled sentencing for January 20, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not less than seven years imprisonment, nor more than life imprisonment, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. The defendant remains detained pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorneys Heidi M. Grogan and James R. Wilson are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, the Penn Hills Police Department, the Monroeville Police Department, the Ross Township Police Department, and the Wilkins Township Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Wilson.

The case is being prosecuted 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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated October 1, 2021