BUFFALO, N.Y.–U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Joseph Clayton, 34, of Niagara Falls, NY, who was convicted of transferring a firearm to a prior felon, was sentenced to 24 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who handled the case, stated that from August 2010 through September, 2010, Clayton purchased three semi-automatic rifles and accessories. Documents obtained by law enforcement officers during the investigation demonstrate that the defendant acted as a straw purchaser and made false statements that he was buying the firearms for himself, when in fact he was purchasing the firearms for Daniel Hale, a known prior felon. Hale, as a prior felon, would have been unable to purchase the firearms himself. Clayton also admitted that co-defendant Eric Kaczor used a Dremel tool to obliterate the serial numbers on two of the rifles so the firearm purchases could not be traced back to the defendant.
Eric Kaczor was sentenced to 33 months in prison.
The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge James S. Higgins and the Niagara Falls Police Department, under the direction of Chief Bryan DalPorto.