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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Pittsburgh Felon Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Illegally Possessing a Handgun at Monroeville Mall

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to three years and one month (37 months) in prison and three years’ supervised release on his conviction of being a felon in possession of a handgun, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose imposed the sentence on Christian Erik Ralph, 24.

According to information presented to the court, on December 26, 2017, security guards at the Monroeville Mall saw Ralph in possession of a handgun near one of the mall’s stores. The officer asked Ralph whether he had a conceal/carry permit for the weapon. Ralph did not reply and began to walk away. The Monroeville Police Department was provided with a description of Ralph and dispatched a unit. The police encountered Ralph near one of the mall’s entrances. Ralph admitted to the officers that he was armed and was placed under arrest. In 2016, Ralph had been convicted in state court of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and for carrying a firearm without a license, both of which are felonies. Federal law 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.

Assistant United States Attorney Michael Leo Ivory prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Monroeville Mall Security Department, the Monroeville Police Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Ralph.

The case was brought as part of 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.

 

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated May 7, 2019