BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- The Bridgeport man who stole 111 firearms from a gun factory has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly announced Tuesday.
“This defendant not only stole more than 100 firearms, but he quickly sold dozens of them on the street putting them directly into the hands of criminals,” said Daly.
Elliott Perez, 30, was sentenced Tuesday, Oct. 27 in Hartford to 210 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing 111 firearms from the Smith & Wesson manufacturing plant in Springfield, Mass., and selling many of those firearms on the street, said the announcement.
“Not only are the stolen guns now turning up in criminal investigations as far away as North Carolina, but one was used in a Bridgeport murder and another in a shooting at a Hartford night club," said Daly. "As more than 50 of these guns are still at large, there is no telling how many additional acts of violence will stem from this offense."
Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Boston Field Division, agreed.
“Firearms trafficking continues to be a top priority for ATF and our law enforcement partners and we are committed to identifying and disrupting the sources of illegal firearms, which jeopardize the safety of our communities," said Kumor.
According to court documents, on Nov. 8, 2012, Perez, a truck driver for Pace Motor Lines, picked up five boxes of firearms from the Smith & Wesson manufacturing plant in Springfield and placed the boxes in his truck.
At the same time, Perez stole three additional boxes containing a total of 111 firearms. He then drove the truck containing all the firearms to his home in Bridgeport, where he met his cohort Michael Murphy.
Shortly thereafter, Perez delivered the original five boxes of firearms to the trucking company’s distribution center in Stratford. Perez and Murphy stored and ultimately sold many of the stolen guns.
On Nov. 20, 2012, when interviewed by ATF special agents, Perez falsely stated that a “black male” at Smith & Wesson’s manufacturing plant told Perez which boxes to load onto his truck, and that he delivered all of the firearms he picked up to the distribution center in Stratford.
Before November 2012, Perez had multiple felony convictions, including convictions for larceny and burglary, and Murphy had a felony conviction for burglary. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
Perez and Murphy were first arrested by the Stratford Police Department on state firearms charges. Perez has been in custody since his state arrest on Nov. 23, 2012, and Murphy has been in custody since his federal arrest on Nov. 30, 2012.
On Feb. 11, 2014, Perez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess and sell stolen firearms, one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon and one count of making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer.
On Dec. 12, 2013, Murphy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess and sell stolen firearms and one count of possession of firearms by a convicted felon. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 30.
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