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Nguyen loses appeal on firearms charges

By: Daily Record Staff//December 16, 2015

Nguyen loses appeal on firearms charges

By: Daily Record Staff//December 16, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed the conviction and sentence in the case of a woman who bought the guns used by her former neighbor to kill a Webster police lieutenant and a West Webster firefighter in a Christmas Eve shooting in 2012.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced the decision in the case of Dawn Nguyen, who admitted to buying a semi-automatic rifle and shotgun in 2010 for William Spengler Jr., a felon prohibited from owning weapons.

More than two years later, Spengler fatally shot his sister, set fire to his West Webster home and ambushed responding firefighters. He shot four people, killing two, before committing suicide.

Nguyen was convicted of knowingly making a false statement in connection with the purchase of firearms; selling and disposing of firearms to a known felon; and possession of firearms while being an unlawful user of marijuana. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

“Today’s Court of Appeals affirmation brings to a fitting end our prosecution of Dawn Nguyen,” U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said in a press release.

“Not only did this defendant buy two firearms for William Spengler, an already convicted killer, she did so knowing that Spengler, in the words of the Court, ‘openly mused aloud about killing’ another person- his sister.

“While no amount of jail time will ever restore those killed and wounded by Spengler on December 24, 2012, the substantial prison term imposed upon Nguyen sends a very clear message of condemnation for this defendant’s outrageous actions.”

The charges involved the purchase and disposition of the firearms that were used in the Christmas Eve shooting in 2012 that killed Webster Police Lieutenant Michael Chiapperini and West Webster Firefighter Tomasz Kaczowka, and seriously injured Firefighters Theodore Scardino and Joseph Hostetter.

Prosecutors said Nguyen made false statements during the purchase of a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle and a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun at Gander Mountain in Henrietta in order to acquire those firearms on behalf of William Spengler, Jr. The defendant gave those firearms to Spengler with the knowledge that Spengler was a convicted felon. In addition, Nguyen unlawfully possessed the firearms at a time when she was an unlawful user of marijuana.

At her sentencing, Nguyen apologized to West Webster firefighters who showed up in court.

On appeal the Government was represented by First Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer M. Noto.

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