Man With Illegal Pistol Facing Lengthy Sentence

MAYVILLE — After being convicted by a Chautauqua County Jury in October 2023 of illegally possessing a pistol, Joshua Hammer, 36, of Collins Center, was sentenced Thursday to 15 years to life by Chautauqua County Judge David W. Foley.

Hammer was found to be a persistent felony offender in New York, making him eligible for an enhanced sentence, after having three prior felony convictions. The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Andrew Molitor and Erik Bentley.

Hammer was in a vehicle stopped by Jamestown police on April 3, 2022, for reportedly having an expired inspection. Officers located a loaded pistol inside the vehicle.

Schmidt would like to thank the city department for their hard work on this case. “Just this past Monday three people were shot in Jamestown, killing one of them, by illegally possessed handguns,” he said. “We hope this conviction sends a strong message across Chautauqua County that felons in possession of illegal guns will be caught and fully prosecuted by our office where they will face significant prison time.The time for a tempered approach to illegal gun possession is long gone.”

Jamestown Police Department Detective Lieutenant Greg Wozneak said the “Jamestown Police Department has taken a hard stance on fighting gun violence and illegal possession of firearms in the city. We have been working with other local, state, and federal agencies to combat gun crimes in the city of Jamestown. Being a GIVE (Gun Involved Violence Elimination) partner, we have been implementing and expanding patrols and furthering investigations that are tied to this type of criminal activity. We are happy to see that the Chautauqua County DA’s Office was so successful in this case and we too hope that this sends a strong message to the community that we are going to here to protect them and this deters criminals from possessing illegal firearms.”


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