Skip to main content
Press Release

Pittsburgh Felon Indicted for Illegally Possessing a Semi-Automatic Rifle

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging a resident of Pittsburgh, PA, with a violation of federal firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The one-count Indictment, returned on March 12, named James Robert Snyder, 27, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, on February 15, 2019, Snyder illegally possessed a 5.45x39mm caliber semi-automatic Saiga rifle. Snyder was previously convicted of a felony drug offense on October 16, 2014, and is therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of not more than 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. This case is being prosecuted under Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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

Updated March 13, 2019

Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods