DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
William J. Hochul, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Barbara Burns

Court of Appeals Affirms Conviction in Gun Case that Led to the Death of a Police Officer and Firefighter

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U. S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed the conviction and sentence of Dawn Nguyen. The defendant was convicted of knowingly making a false statement in connection with the purchase of firearms; selling and disposing of firearms to William Spengler, a known felon; and possession of firearms while being an unlawful user of marijuana, was sentenced to 96 months in prison.
“Today’s Court of Appeals affirmation brings to a fitting end our prosecution of Dawn Nguyen,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Not only did this defendant buy two firearms for William Spengler, an already convicted killer, she did so knowing that Spengler, in the words of the Court, ‘openly mused aloud about killing’ another person- his sister. While no amount of jail time will ever restore those killed and wounded by Spengler on December 24, 2012, the substantial prison term imposed upon Nguyen sends a very clear message of condemnation for this defendant’s outrageous actions.”  
The charges involved the purchase and disposition of the firearms that were used in the Christmas Eve shooting in December 2012 that resulted in the deaths of Webster Police Lieutenant Michael Chiapperini and West Webster Firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka, and seriously injured Firefighters Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hostetter.
Nguyen made false statements during the purchase of a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle and a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun at Gander Mountain in Henrietta, NY, in order to acquire those firearms on behalf of William Spengler, Jr. The defendant gave those firearms to Spengler with the knowledge that Spengler was a convicted felon. In addition, Nguyen unlawfully possessed the firearms at a time when she was an unlawful user of marijuana.  
On appeal the Government was represented by First Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Noto.

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New York Field Division