Former Luzerne County Constable Charged With Possessing Unregistered Firearm

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a grand jury returned an indictment against Sydney Snelling, Jr., age 48, formerly of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, charging the unlawful possession of an unregistered firearm.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the indictment alleges that on April 7, 2022, Snelling possessed an assault rifle bearing a modified barrel of under 16”, without possessing the requisite tax stamp to possess such a firearm.  At the time of the offense, Snelling was a Luzerne County Constable, but has since been removed from his position.

The case was investigated by agents from Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The penalty under federal law is a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. 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.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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