Hempfield man going to prison on gun charges
By Bob Stiles
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A convicted felon accused of trying to buy an assault rifle and handgun from an undercover state trooper reached a plea agreement on Thursday that calls for a prison sentence, his attorney said.
Under the agreement, Matthew Scott Campbell, 26, of 150 Manchester Drive, Hempfield, will plead guilty to a criminal attempt charge and serve at least four years in prison, Westmoreland County Assistant Public Defender John Sweeney said.
Campbell had been scheduled to appear on Thursday before Greensburg District Judge James Albert on criminal attempt, criminal solicitation and conspiracy charges, all involving weapons, and criminal use of a communication facility.
A county judge must accept the plea agreement before it can take effect.
Campbell was serving time on state parole when he was arrested.
On May 11, he posted on Facebook, “Anybody have any guns for sale,” state police at Greensburg said.
After receiving a tip about the posting, police began conversing via the Internet with Campbell. During one exchange, Campbell said “he was a felon,” and the weapons he wanted would have to be reported stolen before he could buy them, authorities said.
Under law, convicted felons are barred from owning or buying guns.
Campbell specified he wanted an AK-47, an AR-16 and a pistol, authorities said.
A trooper working undercover forwarded pictures of the AK-47 assault rifle and a semi-automatic MAC 11 pistol to Campbell, according to court papers.
Campbell and troopers discussed an $800 price for both weapons, authorities said.
Police arranged to meet with Campbell on March 13 in the Gander Mountain parking lot on Towne Square Drive so Campbell could buy the weapons.
About 4:15 p.m., Campbell got into the undercover trooper's vehicle in the lot, discussed buying the firearms and was arrested, authorities said.
Police found $817 during a search of Campbell's vehicle.
Authorities said they didn't know what Campbell planned to do with the weapons.
In 2010, he was sentenced to two to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to felony drug charges, court records show.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
- Blaze damages Derry Twp. garage, apartment
- Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
- Murrysville woman sues Giant Eagle over burns
- Franklin Regional staff try to return to normal for students’ return
- Police see no sign Franklin Regional stabbing suspect was bullied
- Graziani hired away from Latrobe as Penn Township’s manager
- Judge explains why suspect in East Liberty killings was freed
- ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
- St. Vincent student killed in ‘unfortunate accident’ in Erie
- Ligonier Township farm owner says parties did not violate judge’s consent order