(STL.News) – A Lawrence man was charged yesterday with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Stephen Skeirik, 36, was charged by criminal complaint with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Skeirik is currently serving a state sentence and is scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston on July 23, 2020.
According to charging documents, on Feb. 27, 2020, police observed Skeirik and another individual engage in a suspected drug transaction. When detectives approached Skeirik, he ran and threw a loaded Rugar .380 caliber pistol into a neighboring yard. During a search of his home detectives located another loaded firearm – a Rugar 9mm pistol loaded with seven rounds of ammunition, drug paraphernalia, police badges and clothing and handcuffs.
Due to previous convictions punishable by more than one year in prison, Skeirik is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division made the announcement. Valuable assistance was provided by the Massachusetts Parole Board, Lawrence Police Department and the Essex County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Philip C. Cheng of Lelling’s Narcotics and Money Laundering Unit is prosecuting the case.
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.