Skip to main content
Press Release

Pittsburgh-area Man Sentenced to 90 Months in Prison for Violating Federal Firearms Laws

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

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Baldwin Borough, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to 90 months imprisonment and three years supervised release on his conviction of violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak imposed the sentence on Eric Charles Smith, 38.

According to information presented to the court, on or about July 27, 2014, officers of the Baldwin Borough Police Department arrested Eric Smith at his residence in Baldwin for domestic violence assault against his girlfriend and their five-year-old child. Two days later, while Smith was still in jail on that charge, officers were called out to Smith’s residence by Smith’s girlfriend who indicated that she had obtained a Protection from Abuse Order against Smith and wanted his items removed from the residence, thereby giving officers consent to enter and seize items. Upon their entry, officers observed approximately 20 improvised explosive devices, explosive precursor chemicals, written calculations and recipes for explosives, bombmaking literature (such as the Anarchist Cookbook), remote detonating devices and various white supremacist and Nazi paraphernalia, including a podium and business cards which seemed to indicate that his residence was the meeting location for a group known as the “White Church Supremacists.” Among the devices was a six-inch-long fused cylinder device, which has been determined by the ATF to contain a perchlorate-based powder explosive containing aluminum and potassium perchlorate, as well as nails and other fragmentation taped to the outside of the cylinder. This device has been determined to be in operable condition and to fall within the legal definition of a “destructive device” by the ATF. In addition to being a convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing such a weapon, Smith has no items registered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.

Assistant United States Attorney James T. Kitchen prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Smith.

Updated December 8, 2015

Project Safe Neighborhoods