Franklin man accused of having numerous firearms as a felon

From staff reports

A Franklin man has been indicted by a grand jury in the federal court in Erie on charges of possessing numerous firearms by a felon.

Phillip Dechant, 37, has been charged with possessing five pistols, two AR-15 style rifles and two other rifles on or about April 22 though he knew he was a convicted felon and couldn’t possess the guns, according to the indictment.

The Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted the investigation that lead to Dechant’s indictment, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Trabold is prosecuting the case on behalf of the U.S. government, the release said.

Dechant pleaded guilty in Venango County court in February 2008 to three counts of receiving stolen property and three firearms violations. Some other charges were dropped.

In March 2008, he was sentenced to serve one to two years in the Venango County jail and pay a $100 fine and costs for receiving stolen property, serve three years of probation and pay a $100 fine and costs for another count of receiving stolen property and serve four years of probation, perform 250 hours of community service and pay a $100 fine and costs for a firearms violation.