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Press Release

Prior Drug Dealing + Gun = 15 Years In Federal Prison

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

PITTSBURGH - A resident of Pittsburgh, has been sentenced in federal court to 15 years in prison on his conviction of federal drug and firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Mark Hornak imposed the sentence upon defendant Self Strawder, 31, on September 2, 2015.

According to information presented to the court, on June 1, 2014, Homestead Police responded to a domestic disturbance and observed the defendant drop a pistol handle extender as he fled into a building. In the hallway, they located a loaded pistol. Strawder was also located and found to possess 40 stamp bags of heroin and $1,804 in cash.

On Sept. 15, 2014, Pittsburgh Police observed Strawder, then a wanted fugitive, discarding marijuana as he fled on foot. He was apprehended and found to have a loaded pistol, 128 stamp bags of heroin and $765 on his person.

Judge Hornak determined that Strawder has multiple prior convictions including: burglary of a residence; theft of firearms and other items; and dealing heroin, cocaine and marijuana. Federal law precludes a person with any prior convictions for crimes punishable by more than one year from possessing a firearm or ammunition. Individuals with three or more felony drug convictions and/or crimes of violence face a minimum mandatory 15 years or more in federal prison.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Hornak determined that a 15-year period of incarceration was a serious sentence imposed for serious offenses. The Court also determined that a 10-year period of supervision by the United States Probation Office after his release from jail was necessary to deter Strawder from similar criminal conduct in the future.

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

This case is being prosecuted under Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent, deter and prosecute gun crime.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Homestead Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Strawder.

Updated September 4, 2015

Project Safe Neighborhoods