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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pittsburgh Felon Indicted on Federal Drug and Gun Law Violations

PITTSBURGH – An Allegheny County resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating the federal narcotics and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott Brady announced today.

The three-count indictment, returned on March 6 and unsealed today, named Michael Champion, age 41, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the sole defendant.

According to the indictment, on April 14, 2017, Champion possessed with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base, commonly known as crack cocaine. Additionally, on that date, Champion was in possession of numerous firearms, including a sawed off shotgun, in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime. Champion is a convicted felon and prohibited by federal law from possessing any firearms.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not less than 25 years and up to life in prison, a fine of $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 criminal history of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy M. Lanni is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police – Narcotics and Vice Division 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): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated March 13, 2018