BOSTON – A Methuen man was charged in federal court in Boston with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Michael O’Neil, 37, was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. O’Neil was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018, in Andover, when police seized a loaded .380 caliber pistol from him. He has been in state custody since that time and will appear in federal court at a later date. O’Neil is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a prior conviction punishable by more than one year in prison.
The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, one year 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; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett; Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division; and Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Panich of Lelling’s Office 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. PSN is 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.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.