Wilkinsburg Felon Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Possessing a Loaded Handgun


PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Wilkinsburg has been sentenced in federal court to 21 months imprisonment with 2 years’ supervised release on his conviction of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Jacque Butler, age 25 formerly of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15221.

According to information presented to the Court, on September 8, 2020, an officer of the City of Duquesne Police Department observed a vehicle with two inoperable brake lights, stop at an intersection obstructing both lanes of traffic. The officer conducted a traffic stop on this vehicle and detected the odor of marijuana. After learning that the driver’s license was suspended as well as the vehicle’s registration, the officer informed the driver that the vehicle would have to be towed. During a search of the vehicle, the officer discovered that Butler, who was in the rear passenger seat of the vehicle, had a backpack at his feet. This backpack contained a loaded Taurus 9mm handgun with 15 rounds contained in the magazine along with a second magazine containing an additional 15 rounds, digital scales, small amounts of marijuana, and four tablets of ecstasy. Butler waived his Miranda rights and admitted that the gun was his. As a convicted felon, Butler is prohibited from possessing firearms.

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Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Bissoon denied the Defendant’s request for a downward variance on the basis of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court also acknowledged Butler’s significant criminal history which has showed no signs of slowing down.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan J. McKenna prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Kaufman commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the City of Duquesne Police Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Butler.

This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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