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Press Release

Three Indicted in Conspiracy to Illegally Acquire Firearms for a Felon

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

ERIE, Pa. – A former resident of Jamestown, New York and two residents of Erie, Pennsylvania have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on a charges of violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The five-count Indictment named Michael Deniro Hackett, 41, Kathryn Nicole Shaw, 23, and Treasure Ann Gray, 40, as defendants.

According to the Indictment presented to the court, from March 9, 2020, to July 21, 2020, the defendants conspired to violate federal straw purchase laws and acquired firearms for Hackett who was prohibited from possessing firearms based on prior criminal convictions.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 45 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000, or both for Hackett and a maximum total sentence of 15 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both defendant Shaw and Gray. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Paul S. Sellers is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Pennsylvania State Police, Conewango Police Department, and Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case. 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.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the Fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see

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

Updated August 28, 2020

Project Guardian
Project Safe Neighborhoods