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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Nazi-Obsessed Felon Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Possessing Guns and Ammunition

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 32 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release on his conviction of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Robert J. Colville imposed the sentence on Dennis Alan Riggs, 51.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Colville stated that Riggs, a prohibited felon, possessed seven firearms and over 1000 rounds of ammunition, including an AR-15, a semi-automatic weapon capable of accepting a large capacity magazine.

The search of Riggs’ residence and cellular phone revealed Riggs’ obsession with Nazi ideology, Adolf Hitler and mass shooters. His cellular phone displayed photographs and videos of Riggs posing with the AR-15 wearing a Nazi Swastika shirt. The video specifically depicts Riggs cocking the illegal AR-15 and performing the Nazi "Heil Hitler salute", which Judge Colville indicated "exceeds the bounds of mere political expression".

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Riggs.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Updated November 18, 2020