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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

For Immediate Release

Friday, March 1, 2019
Scott W. Brady
, United States Attorney

Felon with 13 Prior Convictions Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing Handgun

PITTSBURGH, PA - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
 
Darnell James Shipman, 29, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
 
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on or about April 29, 2018, at a residence in Pittsburgh, Shipman, who is a convicted felon, brandished a 9 millimeter semi-automatic Canik pistol at another individual and threatened the individual. The court was further advised that on or about May 2, 2018, the defendant was arrested on outstanding warrants with the Canik pistol and 17 rounds of 9 mm ammunition in his possession, which were found in the center console of a vehicle he was driving. Shipman has 13 prior convictions in seven cases, and is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law.
 
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for August 6, 2019. The law provides for a total sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant. Shipman will remain under detention pending the sentencing hearing.
 
Assistant United States Attorney David Lew is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
 
The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidencebased 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.
 
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Philadelphia Field Division