PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A McKeesport, Pennsylvania, resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on charges of violating federal drug and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The four-count indictment, returned on August 26 and unsealed today, named Jermaine Curry, age 35, as the sole defendant.
According to the Indictment, on or about December 18, 2019, Curry, a convicted felon who was on parole and subject to a Protection from Abuse Order (PFA), knowingly and unlawfully possessed 10 firearms and ammunition. A PFA in Pennsylvania provides that a person shall not "abuse, harass, stalk, threaten, or attempt or threaten to use physical force against" the persons protected by the order, including intimate partners and children. Federal law prohibits anyone who is subject to a PFA and anyone who has been convicted by crimes punishable by a year or more in prison from lawfully possessing a firearm or ammunition. Law enforcement officials seized quantities of fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl, heroin, crack cocaine, drug packaging supplies, and $1,173 in United States currency from the defendant’s residence. As such, the indictment also charges Curry with possession with intent to distribute the narcotics, and possessing the firearms in furtherance of his drug trafficking crimes.
"This prosecution is part our of commitment to protect victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence," said U.S. Attorney Brady, who has been a member of Attorney General William Barr’s Domestic Violence Working Group since June of 2019. "We know that where a firearm is present, the likelihood of a domestic violence-related homicide increases by 500%. Our goal, simply stated, is to save lives. One way we are doing that is by federally prosecuting domestic abusers who illegally possess firearms."
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life prison, a fine of $1,750,000, 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. The defendant has been detained pending the resolution of the case.
Assistant United States Attorney Nicole Vasquez Schmitt, who serves as the office’s Domestic Violence Coordinator, is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Allegheny County Probation Office, and the McKeesport Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment of Curry.
This case was brought 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.