DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, September 16, 2019
Scott W. Brady
, United States Attorney

Former Duquesne Man Sentenced to Prison for Straw Purchasing and Trafficking Firearms

PITTSBURGH, Pa – A former resident of Duquesne, PA was sentenced to two years and 10 months (34 months) in prison and three years of supervised release on violations of federal firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Chief United States District Judge Mark R. Hornak imposed the sentence on Khalil Armstrong, age 27, for conspiracy to make false statements in acquisition of a firearm, making a false statement in the acquisition of a firearm, and making a false statement to a licensed firearm dealer. Armstrong has been detained since his initial appearance in federal court.

According to information presented to the court, in and around January and February 2018, Armstrong, co-defendant Melvin Bowles, and others conspired to have Armstrong purchase firearms on behalf of Bowles and others. To further this conspiracy, Armstrong made false statements on required federal firearms forms and to federally licensed firearms dealers representing that he was the true purchaser of the firearms. In fact, Armstrong was not the true purchaser and was buying the firearms for other individuals including Bowles, a convicted felon. In total, Armstrong purchased 23 firearms in this manner and distributed them to Bowles and other individuals. On February 15, 2018, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives – Pittsburgh division executed a search warrant at Bowles’ residence and recovered the firearm purchased by Armstrong. The twenty two remaining firearms have not been recovered. Melvin Bowles was sentenced previously to 14 months of time served.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Lanni is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation leading to the guilty plea and sentence in this case.


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