DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Jennifer Arbittier Williams
, United States Attorney

Philadelphia Felon Pleads Guilty to Illegally Possessing a Firearm Following Incident on I-76

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Bernard Giddings, 26, of Philadelphia, PA, pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson to illegally possessing a firearm as a felon following an incident on a state highway earlier this year.

On March 4, 2021, Pennsylvania State Police responded to an incident that took place on Interstate-76 at approximately 2:30 p.m. Following leads developed in the investigation, PSP investigators obtained a search warrant for the Giddings’ residence in Philadelphia. Upon execution of the search warrant, Troopers recovered a loaded semi-automatic firearm and an extended magazine under the bed where Giddings was sleeping. The defendant ultimately admitted to possessing the gun, and forensic testing found his DNA on the weapon as well. PSP investigators later determined that the firearm had been reported stolen out of North Carolina in 2019. The defendant was thereafter charged by Indictment with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

“The crime of being a felon in possession of a firearm is a serious offense, particularly in Philadelphia where gun violence has reached record-breaking levels this year,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Bernard Giddings admitted to illegally possessing a firearm which was recovered by Pennsylvania State Police after investigating a serious incident. Our Office is determined to continue doing everything we can to reduce gun violence in Philadelphia by being ‘All Hands On Deck’ to get criminals like this defendant off the streets for a long time.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Martin Howley.

Philadelphia Field Division