Share This Page

DA drops probationer's 164 charges for firearms

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

A Penn Hills man no longer has to fight more than 160 illegal firearms charges, but he said it is a hollow victory.

“I didn't do anything wrong,” Charles Rullo, 54, said on Thursday, the day after the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office chose not to prosecute him. “I lose a whole year out of my life, easy.”

Rullo was on probation when authorities filed the gun charges in March. He had pleaded guilty on Feb. 6 to charges stemming from a bar fight. Possessing firearms, which he acquired before the plea, violated his probation, but his attorney argued that state law allowed him up to 60 days to relinquish the weapons.

Allegheny County police charged Rullo with 164 counts of illegally possessing a firearm, possessing a firearm with an obliterated manufacturer's number and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon after county probation officers and Penn Hills police removed the guns from his home on March 1.

A judge granted attorney Michael Foglia's motion to suppress evidence against Rullo because he was not given a fair opportunity to get rid of his weapons after he went on probation. Based on that decision, prosecutors chose not to move forward, said Mike Manko, spokesman for the district attorney's office.

The weapons recovered will be destroyed, Manko said.

Rullo said he was in jail for more than 60 days and lost his real estate license as a result of the case. He said he's looking into a civil rights lawsuit against authorities.

“It's one of those situations where you feel like you haven't won anything,” he said.

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.