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Monday, March 09, 2015

Federal Jury Finds Munhall Man Guilty of Illegally Possessing Weapons and Ammo



PITTSBURGH - Andre Ruffin, a former resident of Munhall, Pa., was convicted by a federal jury of five men and seven women in front of Senior United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry in Pittsburgh, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today. Ruffin was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and/or ammunition.

According to information that was presented at pretrial hearings, Ruffin had been under investigation, by the Allegheny County Police – Homicide Section, for the death of Loretta Jackson that occurred on April 11, 2013. During that investigation, as was revealed at trial, a search warrant was executed at Ruffin’s home on April 22, 2013. During the search of Ruffin’s residence officers recovered an assault weapon and a component for an assault weapon known as a lower receiver. Officers also recovered multiple rounds of various caliber ammunition, a bullet proof vest, firearms holsters, firearms magazines, and various firearms paraphernalia and components.

Subsequent to the search, Special Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) obtained records and conducted interviews that demonstrated that Ruffin had used his girlfriend (as a “straw purchaser”) to purchase the two firearms from Anthony Arms and Accessories, a West Mifflin firearms dealer, for his own possession. As a convicted felon, Ruffin was not legally permitted to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition. ATF also obtained records and information revealing more than a dozen deliveries of firearms-related parts and paraphernalia were made to the Ruffin home.

Federal law prohibits a person who has been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment in excess of one year from lawfully possessing a firearm, firearm components such as a receiver, and ammunition. The Superseding Indictment alleged that Ruffin has been convicted of a multitude of felony offenses including: carjacking; using a firearm during a crime of violence; robbery; attempted theft; and aggravated assault.

Judge McVerry ordered the forfeiture of the firearms and ammunition recovered, and scheduled Ruffin’s sentencing for June 26, 2015 at 10 a.m. Because of the type and number of his previous convictions, the law provides for a total sentence of at least 15 years in prison and up to life, a fine of up to $250,000.00, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based on the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant. Pending sentencing, the court ordered that the defendant remain in jail and he was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal Service.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan B. Ortiz and Ross E. Lenhardt prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a collaborative effort by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and communities to prevent, deter and prosecute gun crime.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Allegheny County Police Department, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office - Crime Laboratory, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the Munhall Police Department and the United States Marshal Service conducted the investigation leading to the conviction in this case.

Any person having information relating to Ruffin and/or the ongoing investigation being conducted by the Allegheny County Police Department – Homicide Section should contact Lieutenant Andrew Shurman at 412-473-1300.

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