BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A Bridgeport man will serve nearly six years behind bars for stealing a safe filled with guns from a Shelton home, trading five of the weapons for heroin and leaving two firearms at home, one of which his stepson took to school, prosecutors said.
Walter Gonzalez, 45, was sentenced Tuesday to 71 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, said U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly. The incident occurred while he was on supervised release from a prior federal conviction, she said.
On Nov. 25, 2015, Bridgeport police officers found a discarded safe with its door been pried off. Information in the safe indicated that it belonged to a Shelton resident.
Investigators discovered the Shelton home had been burglarized, and the homeowner said the safe had contained seven firearms.
On Dec. 14, 2015, Gonzalez’s stepson took one of the stolen firearms to Tisdale Elementary School and said he had found it in a closet in his home. Investigators then recovered a second stolen firearm from the same closet. When Gonzalez was arrested later that day, he had narcotics in his possession.
In an interview with Bridgeport Police, Gonzalez admitted that the two firearms had been obtained from a burglary in Shelton. He also admitted that he had sold the other five stolen firearms in exchange for drugs.
Gonzalez has been detained in federal custody since Dec. 21, 2015. On Nov. 14, 2016, he pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen firearm and to violating his supervised release.
On Aug. 17, 1999, Gonzalez had been sentenced in federal court to 120 months in prison, consecutive to a state sentence, and three years of supervised release, for possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. He was released from federal prison on March 14, 2014, and began serving his supervised release.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bridgeport Police Department and Shelton Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale.