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Press Release

Munhall Man Charged with Murder in State Court Gets 25 Years in Prison for Violating Federal Firearms Laws

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

PITTSBURGH - Andre Ruffin, a former resident of Munhall, Pa., was sentenced yesterday to 300 months (25 years) in prison and five years of post-release supervision, by Senior U.S. District Judge Terrence F. McVerry, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today. Ruffin was convicted of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition by a federal jury on March 4, 2015.

According to information that was presented to the court, Ruffin had been under investigation, by the Allegheny County Police – Homicide Section, for the death of Loretta Jackson that occurred on April 11, 2013. During that investigation, as was revealed at trial, a search warrant was executed at Ruffin’s home on April 22, 2013. During the search of Ruffin’s residence officers recovered an assault weapon and a component for an assault weapon known as a lower receiver. Officers also recovered multiple rounds of various caliber ammunition, a bullet proof vest, firearms holsters, firearms magazines, and various firearms paraphernalia and components.

Subsequent to the search, Special Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives obtained records and conducted interviews that demonstrated that Ruffin had used his girlfriend (as a “straw purchaser”) to purchase the two firearms from Anthony Arms and Accessories, a West Mifflin firearms dealer, for his own possession. As a convicted felon, Ruffin was not legally permitted to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition. ATF also obtained records and information revealing more than a dozen deliveries of firearms-related parts and paraphernalia were made to the Ruffin home.

Federal law prohibits a person who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment in excess of one year from lawfully possessing a firearm, firearm components such as a receiver, and ammunition. Ruffin had been convicted of a multitude of felony offenses including: carjacking; using a firearm during a crime of violence; robbery; attempted theft; and aggravated assault. During the sentencing hearing Judge McVerry noted that Ruffin, through his criminal history, had displayed "absolutely no respect for the law" as well as a "complete and utter disrespect for the law."

Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan B. Ortiz and Ross E. Lenhardt prosecuted this case on behalf of the government. This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent, deter and prosecute gun crime.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Allegheny County Police Department, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office - Crime Laboratory, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the Munhall Police Department and the United States Marshal Service conducted the investigation leading to the conviction in this case.

After being convicted in this federal case, Ruffin was charged by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office for having committed the Loretta Jackson homicide. He is currently pending trial in the Court of Common Pleas, Allegheny County for that charge. Any person having information relating to Ruffin and/or the ongoing investigation being conducted by the Allegheny County Police Department – Homicide Section should contact Lieutenant Andrew Shurman at 412-473-1300.

Updated September 1, 2015