Bethlehem Father and Son Sentenced for Illegal Weapons Possession

JusticeImage vis Pixabay

PHILADELPHIA, PA — Joseph Raymond Berger, 69, and his son, Joseph Paul Berger, 35, both of Bethlehem, PA, have been sentenced for illegal weapons possession. United States District Court Judge Joseph F. Leeson, Jr., handed down the sentences this month. Joseph Raymond Berger received 36 months of supervised release, while his son was sentenced to 37 months in prison.

In February 2022, the father and son were indicted on charges of possessing a machine gun and non-registered firearms. Law enforcement found 13 fully automatic machine guns and 12 silencers at their home. The Bergers pled guilty on February 28, 2024.

The investigation began when Customs and Border Protection intercepted three silencers illegally imported into the country and addressed to the Bergers’ residence. A search warrant led to the discovery of the machine guns and silencers in the basement. The cache included 11 rifles and 2 submachine guns, initially sold as semi-automatic firearms but later converted to fully automatic.

“Our nation’s firearms laws exist to protect public safety,” said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero. “Abide by those regulations and you’re good to go. But if, like the Bergers, you brazenly flout them, expect to be held accountable.”

“The importation of illegal firearms suppressors poses a serious threat to the American public,” emphasized Sara Bay, Acting Special Agent in Charge of HSI Philadelphia.

Adam Streetman, CBP’s Area Port Director for Philadelphia, praised the efforts of Customs officers in intercepting dangerous products before they could harm citizens.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, Customs and Border Protection, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Carissimi prosecuted the case.

READ:  Pennsylvania Man Convicted of Murder in Fentanyl-Cocaine Overdose Case

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.