For Immediate Release
Manchester Man Sentenced to 20 Months in Prison for Firearms Offenses
CONCORD - David Hamilton, 20, of Manchester, was sentenced in federal court to 20 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting the straw purchase of a firearm, and for being a prohibited drug user in possession of a firearm, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in September 2016, Manchester Police responded to reports of shots fired, followed by a car accident. When police arrived at the scene, the occupants of the vehicle had fled, leaving behind a pistol. Upon further investigation, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) learned that in June 2016, Hamilton persuaded another individual to “straw purchase” the pistol on Hamilton’s behalf. Specifically, when the purchaser filled out the paperwork required for purchasing the pistol, he falsely stated that he was purchasing it for himself, and not for Hamilton, in violation of federal law.
Approximately two months after the straw purchase, in August 2016, a Manchester Police Officer observed Hamilton – who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest – walking across the Granite Street Bridge in Manchester, New Hampshire. As the officer approached, Hamilton threw a pistol over the sidewalk railing. Police arrested Hamilton and recovered the pistol, which was found to have an obliterated serial number. At the time, Hamilton was an unlawful drug user, and was therefore prohibited from possessing a firearm.
“Those who unlawfully obtain firearms present a serious risk to public safety,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to working aggressively to combat violent crime, in all of its forms. Those who choose to use firearms to commit crimes in New Hampshire will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Today’s sentencing is another example of the importance of law enforcement partnerships and their effectiveness in protecting the safety and security of communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Mickey Ledingham. “ATF will continue to combat violent crime and to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
This matter was investigated by the ATF and the Manchester Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shane Kelbley. The case is part of ATF’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, a federally-funded program intended to reduce gun violence through law enforcement training, public education, and aggressive law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute gun-related crimes.