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Press Release

Jury Finds Erie Man Guilty Of Violating Federal Firearms Laws

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

ERIE, Pa. – After deliberating approximately one hour, a federal jury of four men and eight women found Joseph Lee Ollie guilty of three counts of federal firearms violations, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Joseph Lee Ollie, 55, was tried before Senior United States District Judge Maurice B. Cohill Jr. in Erie, Pennsylvania.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini, who prosecuted the case, the evidence presented at trial established that on November 25, 2011, Ollie engaged in a scheme to burglarize homes on Shadduck Road in North East, Pennsylvania, and in the matter on trial, stole a Mossberg Model 500 shotgun. Ollie’s possession of the firearm was unlawful because he was prohibited from firearm possession as a result of his prior felony convictions and as a result of a domestic abuse restraining order against him. According to information presented in court, Ollie was already convicted, and is currently awaiting sentencing, for attempting to obtain a 9mm handgun from Bob’s Gun Shop in Edinboro, Pennsylvania in April 2011, when he lied on the federal firearm transaction form by failing to disclose his prior felony convictions.

According to United States Attorney Hickton, many of the firearms unlawfully used and possessed in Northwestern Pennsylvania have come from residential burglaries. Targeting those criminals who are burglarizing homes and stealing firearms, and vigorous enforcement of those individuals who are violating federal firearms laws, are important pieces of our anti-violence strategy in the region.

Sentencing on both cases will be scheduled at a later time by Judge Cohill. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Ollie.

Updated July 14, 2015