PITTSBURGH, PA – On October 17, 2020, a resident of Grove City, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court to two years (24 months) in prison on his conviction of making a false statement in the acquisition of a firearm, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
United States District Judge Robert J. Colville imposed the sentence on Karl Alexander, 79.
According to information provided to the court during the plea hearing, on Sept. 29, 2019, Alexander, an attorney and administrative law judge, knowingly made a false statement to a licensed firearms dealer when purchasing a Ruger AR556MPR AR-15 style rifle. Alexander admitted that he expressly lied on the ATF Form 4473 and answered "Yes" to the question: "Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm listed on this form?" In fact, Alexander was purchasing the firearm for a convicted felon, Dennis Alan Riggs. Alexander admitted that Riggs was with him for the purchase and that Riggs picked out the firearm and paid Alexander for the firearm. Alexander also admitted he agreed to purchase the weapon because of their personal relationship.
Riggs pleaded guilty in May to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 18, 2020.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Colville stated that Mr. Alexander should have known better than to purchase the firearm for a known felon, especially in light of Mr. Alexander’s prior lengthy tenure as an Administrative Law Judge. In addition to 24 months in prison, Alexander was also sentenced to one year of supervised release and a fine of $10,000.00.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Lieber Smolar and Brian M. Czarnecki prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
The FBI Pittsburgh Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the conviction in the case. Members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force who were directly involved in this investigation include: FBI, Pennsylvania State Police, Allegheny County Police Department, Allegheny County Probation, and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.
This case was brought as part of Project Guardian. Reducing gun violence and enforcing federal firearms laws have always been among the Department of Justice’s highest priorities. Project Guardian serves as a complementary effort to the success of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).