Image military.com .Associated Press

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Rian Patterson, age 23, and Devin Diggs, age 20, who were soldiers stationed at Fort Drum, New York, pled guilty yesterday to felony charges in connection with the burglaries of federally licensed firearms dealers in September 2019, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

In pleading guilty, Patterson and Diggs admitted to stealing firearms during the burglary of a licensed federal firearms dealer in Gouvernuer, New York, on September 14, 2019, and to the burglary of a second licensed federal firearms dealer in De Kalb Junction, New York, on September 29, 2019. As part of their guilty pleas, both men also admitted to knowingly possessing stolen firearms taken during those burglaries in their barracks at Fort Drum, in Le Ray, N.Y. Patterson also admitted that he knowingly possessed a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

Patterson and Diggs each face up to 10 years in prison, a maximum fine of up to $250,000, and up to 3 years of supervised release, when they are sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy on June 16, 2020.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors. Patterson and Diggs have already been discharged from the United States Army.

This case was investigated by the ATF, the U.S Army Criminal Investigation Division (ARMY CID), the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, and the New York State Police, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Sutcliffe.

This case is brought pursuant to Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.