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Press Release

Mercer County Man Facing Federal Drug and Gun Charges in Project Guardian Case

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

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Farrell, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The three-count Indictment named Laron McKinnon, age 37, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, McKinnon was charged with possession with the intent to distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine and cocaine base. The Indictment further alleges that McKinnon possessed a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking despite being prohibited from owning a firearm.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than Five years and up to life in prison, a fine not to exceed $1,500,000.00, a term of supervised release of at least three years, or a combination thereof. 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 Benjamin J. Risacher is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian enhances coordination of federal, state, and local authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the Pennsylvania Instant Criminal Background Check System (PICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partner: the Drug Enforcement Administration. For more information about Project Guardian, please see:

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 24, 2020

Project Guardian
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses