PITTSBURGH - A resident of Covington, Georgia, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal firearms laws, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
William D. Gossett, 22, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that on July 23, 2016, William D. Gossett, a convicted felon, was in possession of a Phoenix Arms, .25 caliber, semi-automatic handgun, that had been reported stolen from Columbiana, Ohio, and ammunition. On July 23, 2016, officers from the Center Township Police Department were called to the Cinemark Theater where their attention was drawn to a young male wearing full length and full sleeved army fatigues and carrying a large backpack. It was approximately 94 degrees outside that day. The young man had been wandering around the theater for about two hours. As officers began to approach him, he quickly ducked into the restroom. An officer was able to make contact with him there, and to obtain consent to search his backpack. The male, who identified himself as William Glanton, but was later identified by Law Enforcement as William Gossett, had a ticket for the movie, “The Purge”, which was to begin in 20 minutes. The officer pulled out all of the items in the backpack and located the following: a firearm, a box of .25 caliber ammunition, four knives, a painter’s respirator mask, multiple handkerchiefs, two first-aid kits, paracord rope, gloves, black spray paint, multiple small rations of food, and a few articles of clothing. Gossett stated that he found the box of ammunition “on the road” and that he received the firearm from his uncle four weeks prior. Gosseet has a prior felony conviction for Identity Theft Fraud. Federal law prohibits persons who have been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year from possessing ammunition or firearms.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for December 14, 2017 at 9 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of not more than 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Amy L. Johnston is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Center Township Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of William D. Gossett.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Pennsylvania