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Justice News

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

Friday, January 27, 2017

McKean County Man Admits Possessing Unregistered Machinegun

ERIE, Pa. – A former resident of Port Allegany, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal firearms laws, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

James William McMichael, 72, pleaded guilty on January 24, 2016, to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that McMichael possessed a machinegun not registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. According to information provided to the court, McMichael, who was a former federally licensed firearms dealer, ordered various firearm parts which were then fully assembled into a functioning machinegun. The machinegun was then hidden in the ceiling of McMichael’s Port Allegany home.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for June 5, 2017. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Port Allegany Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of McMichael.

Updated January 27, 2017