Multi-Convicted Felon Pleads Guilty to Firearms Violation
PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a federal firearms violation, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Christian Burrus, 37, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on July 23, 2018, Burrus unlawfully possessed a Ruger 9 millimeter pistol and ammunition, after having been convicted of multiple crimes punishable by more than one year in prison. Those convictions include one conviction for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and three convictions for firearms violations. Federal law prohibits anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
Specifically, Burrus was a passenger during a July 23, 2018 traffic stop by the Penn Hills police. During the stop, he was sweating, would not make eye contact, and appeared very nervous. After Burrus provided his name, the Penn Hills police determined that there was an active warrant for Burrus’s arrest, and while patting Burrus down incident to arrest, found the loaded, stolen firearm in Burrus’s waistband.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for February 12, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. 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. Burrus is detained pending the resolution of the case.
Assistant United States Attorney Christy C. Wiegand is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation along with the Penn Hills Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Burrus. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is 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.