Jamaican Citizen Charged with Violating Federal Firearms Laws
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A Jamaican man has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating various federal firearm laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The three-count indictment named Kevin Ruddock, 34, of a citizen of Jamaica residing in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment presented to the court, Ruddock knowingly gave false information on an application to purchase a Ruger Model 9E, 9 millimeter handgun, in violation of federal law. Federal law prohibits anyone who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States, or who is an alien admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa, from possessing a firearm. The indictment alleges that on March 13, 2017, Ruddock falsely claimed that he was a United States citizen on the form submitted to Dick’s Sporting Goods when he purchased the Ruger. The indictment further alleges that on March 16, 2018, Ruddock possessed the Ruger, along with 123 rounds of ammunition, and that the possession was illegal both because Ruddock was admitted into the United States on a non-immigrant visa and because he was in the United States at the time of his possession illegally and unlawfully having overstayed his visa.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, 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 Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. 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.
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Homeland Security Investigations, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also provided assistance to the investigators.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.