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Press Release

Pittsburgh Woman Admits Purchasing Gun For Convicted Felon

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

PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh resident pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to a charge of violating federal firearm laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Asia M. Harris, 34, pleaded guilty to one count before Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on Aug. 16, 2011, Harris purchased a Springfield XDM-40 .40 caliber pistol from a Pittsburgh-area sporting goods store. On Oct. 16, 2013, Allegheny County Police officers executing a search warrant in Pittsburgh found the loaded gun on the bed in the master bedroom shared by Harris and Mark A. Brazil. Brazil was a convicted felon who, under federal law, could not lawfully possess a firearm. In a later interview with agents of the FBI, Harris advised that Brazil had asked her to purchase the firearm for him because he was a convicted felon and could not buy it himself. Harris stated that Brazil gave her $800 to buy the gun and told her which gun to buy. Harris advised that she considered the firearm as belonging to Brazil and knew what she did was wrong.

Judge Diamond scheduled sentencing for Oct. 11, 2014, 2014 at 11 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Harris on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Margaret E. Picking is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Allegheny County Police, with the assistance of the Pittsburgh Police, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Harris.

Updated July 14, 2015