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Charlie Tan indicted on federal gun charges

(WHAM photo)

Rochester, N.Y. – The case against Pittsford’s Charlie Tan is not over.

The Pittsford Mendon graduate has been indicted on federal gun charges connected to his father’s murder two years ago.

Tan was placed behind bars Friday night, awaiting arraignment in Federal Court Saturday on three counts of weapons charges.

The last time we saw Tan, he was smiling - jubilant after Judge James Piampiano dismissed the murder charge against him. In March, the appellate court ruled Tan could not be retried.

He appeared to be free and clear, until Friday afternoon.

Tan was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at the Lewiston Bridge, entering the U.S. There was a warrant for his arrest.

Tan was charged in a three-count federal indictment unsealed Friday. The charges: Receiving a firearm and ammunition with intent to commit an offense two counts of false statement during a firearm purchase.

It stems from the purchase of a shotgun at the Walmart in Cortland before the murder of Tan’s father, Jim, in February 2015.

Prosecutors said Tan asked a friend from Pittsford – who was a student at Cornell – to purchase the gun for him.

Tan’s attempt to buy the gun was turned down because he is a Canadian citizen.

Now, more than two years later, leaving Canada, Tan’s arrest is tied to that very gun purchase.

The news shocked Tan’s attorney, who thought, after the March decision, the case might be behind them.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley, upset with the first outcome in court, told 13WHAM News Friday night, “We are interested in seeing how federal prosecutors will move forward in their indictment.”

Tan will be arraigned Saturday in Syracuse. He will be represented by the attorney who defended him on murder charges, Brian DeCarolis. There will likely be a motion for bail, but the U.S. Attorney whom 13WHAM spoke with Friday indicated he would be opposed to bail.

You can read the full indictment against Tan here:


This is a developing story. 13WHAM will provide updates as they become available.


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