Feds charge Harrisburg man with illegal gun possession

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Dane Merritt

Dane Merritt

HARRISBURG, Pa.–A Harrisburg man is now facing federal charges for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon after he was arrested in Oct. 2015 for an incident outside of Double D’s Bar.

Dane B. Merritt, 52, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon by a federal grand jury on Feb. 3.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment was unsealed February 19, 2016 following Merritt’s initial appearance before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson.

Harrisburg police arrested Merritt on Oct. 17 after a disturbance outside of Double D’s Bar in Harrisburg.

Officers were on patrol near 19th and Brooke Wood Streets when they noticed a disturbance in front of Double D’s Bar and heard shots fired around 12:45 a.m.

According to police reports, the incident began when Merritt attempted to enter the bar with a gun–but the bouncers requested he leave. Merritt refused and the bouncers threw him out. That’s when police said shots were fired. Nearby officers immediately responded to the area and found Merritt crouched behind a nearby vehicle.

If convicted on the federal charges, Merritt’s could face up to 10 years in prison.

The U.S. attorney’s office said the federal charges were brought as part of the Violent Crime Reduction Partnership to combat the spread of violent crime in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Besides Harrisburg police, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Schinnour.