U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Pennsylvania
September 4, 2014

Claysville Man Sentenced for Firearms Offense

PITTTSBURGH—A Washington County man has been sentenced in federal court to nine months’ imprisonment, 12 months’ supervised release, and forfeiture of firearms on his conviction of violating federal firearms laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the sentence on Charles Merle Watson, 53, of Julian Road, Claysville, Pa.

According to information presented to the court, on Feb. 11, 2011, and again on June 15, 2011, Watson possessed and/or transferred a machine gun at his Washington County home which he had converted from a semi-automatic firearm. Watson can be observed handling, firing, and transferring possession of the firearms on a hidden camera.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Bissoon stated that Watson knew his conduct was unlawful due to his employment at a sporting goods store and was conducting an “unlawful side business,” adding that Watson let his enthusiasm cloud his judgment.

Assistant United States Attorney Margaret E. Picking prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Watson.

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