HARRISBURG –The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a Harrisburg man indicted by a grand jury in Harrisburg in April 2016 on drug trafficking and firearm charges pled guilty on June 16, 2016 before United States District Court Judge William W. Caldwell.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Andre Hairston, age 34, of Harrisburg, pled guilty to a charge of being a convicted felon illegally in possession of four firearms which were also stolen. The charges in the indictment arose out of the arrest of Hairston on July 16, 2015 in Harrisburg when he sold a stolen handgun to a cooperating individual. Another stolen handgun was recovered from Hairston’s car. Further investigation led to the October 23, 2015 search of an apartment in Lower Paxton Township that resulted in the recovery of two other stolen handguns and synthetic marijuana that was packaged for distribution.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations Violent Crimes Task Force, the Harrisburg Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Lower Paxton Township Police, and the Dauphin County Probation and Parole Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William A. Behe.
This case was brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership (“VCRP”), a district wide initiative to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the VCRP consists of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies whose mission is to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit violent crimes.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The penalty under federal law for this offense is a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years up to a maximum of life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.