New Castle Felon Indicted for Violating Federal Drug and Gun Laws
PITTSBURGH - One resident of New Castle, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
The three-count indictment named Michael Schmidt, 21, of New Castle, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.
According to the indictment, on or about October 12, 2017, Schmidt possessed with the intent to distribute a quantity of heroin, a Schedule I controlled substance, and a quantity of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance. Schmidt also possessed a firearm in furtherance of said drug trafficking crime. Additionally, on or about October 12, 2017, Schmidt, a convicted felon, did knowingly and unlawfully possess a Taurus, Model PT738, .380 caliber pistol and ammunition. 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.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 5 years and up to life in prison, a fine not to exceed $1,000,000, 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 of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the Lawrence County Drug Task Force and the New Castle Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in America a top priority. In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.