PA Constable Purchased 22 Firearms For Felon: AG

A Pennsylvania court constable is accused of purchasing weapons— including straw purchasing 22 guns— for a convicted felony, Attorney General Josh Shapiro. says.

Sidney Snellings

Sidney Snellings

Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro's office

Sidney Snelling, 48, of Wilkes-Barre, was arrested on Thursday, April 28, by members of the Office of Attorney General’s Gun Violence Section, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Luzerne County Detective Bureau, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Agents also searched Snelling’s car and residence, seizing nine firearms, as well as ammunition and outlaw motorcycle vests.

“We are relieved to have removed a criminal from the streets who held himself out as a member of law enforcement, but had actually supplied firearms to drug traffickers and gang members. Our county is unquestionably safer as a result of this investigation and arrest,” said Luzerne County District Attorney Samuel Sanguedolce.

“When firearms are purchased on behalf of those who are prohibited from possessing them, it poses immense danger to the community,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “We will continue to work closely with our local, state, and federal partners to identify straw purchasers and limit the violence that could follow.”

Snelling was elected to his position, as AG Shapiro points out.

This investigation is ongoing. Under state law, a person who straw purchased two or more firearms is subject to the mandatory minimum of 5 to 10 years in prison under state law.

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