DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of New York

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Richard S. Hartunian
, United States Attorney
Contact: AUSA Michael Barnett

Albany Felon Pleads Guilty to Possessing Semi-Automatic Rifle and Handgun

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jason Twiss, age 28, of Albany, New York, pled guilty yesterday to illegally possessing two firearms, attempting to possess heroin with the intent to distribute it, and carrying firearms in relation to a drug trafficking crime.


The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Special Agent in Charge Ashan M. Benedict of the New York Field Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).


As part of his plea, Twiss admitted that on December 10, 2014, he drove to Kingston, New York, for the purpose of purchasing heroin that he could then sell.  While parked in the Kingston Hospital parking lot, Twiss carried and displayed a loaded Ruger .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine, and a loaded Glock 9 millimeter semi-automatic pistol, to guard against the potential theft of the money he had brought to purchase the narcotics. 


As a felon, Twiss could not legally possess either the Ruger or the Glock. 


Twiss faces at least 5 years and up to life in prison, a fine of up to $750,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of at least 3 years and up to life when he is sentenced on March 13, 2017 by Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.


This case was investigated by the ATF and the Kingston Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emmet O’Hanlon.


New York Field Division