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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Pittsburgh Felon Charged in Shooting of ATF Special Agent in June 2020

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of assault on a federal employee, and violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

According to U.S. Attorney Brady, on June 18, 2020, a multi-agency enforcement action was occurring in Pittsburgh’s Uptown neighborhood following the indictment of members of a large-scale cocaine trafficking organization. At approximately 6:00 a.m., a Special Agent on a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Response Team was shot and wounded as he breached a doorway.

The three-count Indictment, returned on September 1, named Dion Williams, age 44, of Pittsburgh, as the sole defendant.

"My office has zero tolerance for assaults upon or violence directed against law enforcement officers. Violent drug trafficking felons like Dion Williams who brazenly use illegal firearms to shoot at law enforcement officers have no place in western Pennsylvania," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "We will continue to use all available resources to dismantle drug gangs and bring violent criminals to justice, and to protect the men and women of law enforcement who work tirelessly every day to keep us all safe."

"It’s essential that we keep law enforcement officers safe as they protect and serve the nation’s communities," said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Michael Christman. "Assault on law enforcement officers undermines the rule of law and will not be tolerated. Anyone who fires at law enforcement threatens the safety of our community and will face serious legal consequences. I am thankful the injured ATF agent is recovering and appreciative of his service and dedication."

"While danger is an inherent part of our job as law enforcement officers we take anyone who tries to kill a federal agent as a clear and present danger to not only law enforcement but the community as a whole," said John Schmidt, acting Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. "Today, we applaud the multi-jurisdictional efforts that resulted in the indictment of this alleged violent offender. ATF, along with our local, state and federal partners will continue to target violent individuals who have little regard for the law and human life."

According to the Indictment, Williams is accused of using a deadly and dangerous weapon to assault and inflict bodily injury upon a member of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Williams is also accused of discharging a firearm during a crime of violence and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Williams has four prior drug convictions in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, and has one prior conviction for

distribution and possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. 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 ten years in prison, nor more than life imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 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, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Douglas C. Maloney and Assistant United States Attorney Jerome A. Moschetta are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated September 2, 2020