DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Peter J. Smith
, United States Attorney
Contact: Dawn Mayko

Nanticoke Man Charge in Straw Purchase of Firearms

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal Grand Jury in Scranton indicted Damone Whitley, age 22, on May 3, 2016, with making false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Whitley, a resident of Nanticoke, provided false information for the purchase of two firearms from a gun shop in that city on April 5, 2016. The indictment alleges that Whitley stated that he was the true buyer of the firearms when, in fact, he was buying them for others.

This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Prosecution has been assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert O’Hara.

This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership ("VCRP"), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law is ten years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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Field Division: Philadelphia Field Division