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Press Release

Homestead Felon Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Possessing Pistol

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

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Homestead, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 21 months in prison on his conviction of federal firearm offenses, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence yesterday on Michael Horvwalt, 31, of Homestead, Pennsylvania.

According to information presented to the court, on November 26, 2016, the defendant was stopped by a Munhall Police Officer who found a loaded 40 caliber pistol under the driver seat of the vehicle which was registered to the defendant. On December 1, 2016, the defendant confessed to Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), that he possessed the firearm.

On December 4, 2016, the defendant was seen on surveillance video where approximately 45 gun shots were exchanged between multiple people. Surveillance video was reviewed and revealed that there was a white male, who resembled the defendant, exiting the driver seat of a vehicle that was registered to the defendant. The individual in the surveillance footage was seen firing shots from a firearm in his possession. The vehicle in the incident was the same vehicle in which the defendant was driving on November 26, 2016, when he was stopped by Munhall Police.

On December 5, 2016, police executed a search warrant at the defendant’s house looking for the firearm seen in the surveillance video. The police did not locate the firearm in the home, however they found a 30-30 caliber hunting rifle under his bed and approximately five other firearms in the home he shares with his mother. The Pennsylvania Game Commission provided information confirming that the defendant purchased a hunting license in 2009, despite his felony convictions in 2006, 2008 and later in 2015.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Conti stated that 21 months in jail, followed by 24 months of supervision by the United States Probation Office was sufficient but not greater than necessary, given the circumstances of this case and the prior record of Horvwalt.

Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt of the Violent Crimes Section prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Acting United States Attorney Song commended the Munhall Police Department and the ATF for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Horvwalt.

Updated November 21, 2017

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