For Immediate Release
St. Lucie County Felon Convicted at Trial of Aiding and Abetting False Statements to Unlawfully Purchase a Firearm
Anthony Joseph Safiotti, 35, of St. Lucie County, was convicted by a federal jury yesterday of aiding and abetting false statements to unlawfully purchase a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(a)(6) and 2.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Ari C. Shapira, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office made the announcement.
According to the court docket, including evidence introduced at trial, Safiotti, a convicted felon, convinced a young pregnant drug addict, to be a straw buyer of a firearm in exchange for opioids. On February 2, 2018, Safiotti and the straw buyer entered a pawn shop in Martin County. The straw buyer purchased a semi-automatic firearm, gun case, ammunition, and an extra 40 round magazine for Safiotti. Following Safiotti’s directives, the straw buyer falsely completed the ATF Form 4473 paperwork, as the actual/true buyer of the firearm and ammunition.
Safiotti had previously been convicted of several felony offenses and was prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.
Safiotti is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks on January 17, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
This case stems from Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The PSN program was reinvigorated 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.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigatory efforts of the ATF in this matter. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carmen Lineberger.