WILLIAMSPORT - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Samuel Bozochovic, age 36, of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, was indicted by a federal grand jury with stealing handguns from a gun store in Muncy, Pennsylvania, and possessing controlled substances with the intent to distribute them.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Bozochovic allegedly broke into the R&J Welch gun store on February 8, 2017, and stole 11 handguns from the inventory. Five of the firearms were recovered during a search of Bozochovic’s apartment, but six are as yet unrecovered. Later the same day, Bozochovic was apprehended in the course of distributing heroin to another person and 48 heroin packets were recovered from him at that time.
Bozochovic was arrested on February 9, 2017, and brought before United States Magistrate Judge William I. Arbuckle, III where he was detained pending further proceedings.
"Stolen guns are quickly sold into the black market as a tool-of the-trade for criminals who frequently use them in violent acts. ATF will use our resources to protect the public by identifying and arresting thieves who divert guns into the hands of criminals, which then fuels violence in our communities," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation or the stolen firearms is encouraged to call 1-800-ATF GUNS (1-800-283-4867).
The investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant United States Attorney Geoffrey W. MacArthur is prosecuting the case.
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 with firearms.
This case was also brought as part of a district wide initiative to combat the nationwide epidemic regarding the use and distribution of heroin. Led by the United States Attorney’s Office, the Heroin Initiative targets heroin traffickers operating in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and is part of a coordinated effort among federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who commit heroin related offenses.
Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
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 maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 30 years of 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.