States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|March 10, 2010||
Project Safe Neighborhoods: JURY FINDS MEN GUILTY OF STEALING ASSAULT RIFLES FROM ANSONIA COMPANY
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal jury in New Haven has found two men guilty of conspiring to steal more than two dozen assault rifles from an Ansonia firearms company.
On October 28, 2009, a grand jury returned an indictment charging MICHAEL STINSON, 52, of Newfield Avenue, Bridgeport; his son EUGENE STINSON, also known as “Nast,” 33, of Boston Avenue, Bridgeport, and DAVID HARVIN, 28, of Birch Drive, Stratford, with one count of conspiracy to steal firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer and one count of theft of firearms from a federally licensed firearms dealer. MICHAEL STINSON and HARVIN also were charged with possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. A trial before United States District Judge Janet Bond Arterton began on Thursday, March 4. HARVIN pleaded guilty to all three counts in the indictment on Monday, March 8, before the jury began deliberations. On Tuesday, March 9, the jury found MICHAEL and EUGENE STINSON guilty on all counts.
According to the evidence presented at trial, in late August and early September 2009, law enforcement in Bridgeport recovered seven military-type assault rifles. The firearms were traced to American Precision Manufacturing Company (“APM”) in Ansonia, a business that assembles guns for Century Arms of Vermont. ATF agents investigating the matter received information from an individual who had worked at APM that he had provided EUGENE STINSON with information about how STINSON could steal firearms from APM. Based on that information, ATF arranged a sting operation.
At the instruction of ATF, the individual providing information to ATF placed recorded calls to EUGENE STINSON and arranged to meet him at APM. On October 20, 2009, the two met at APM and engaged in a lengthy discussion of the planned firearms theft. At approximately 2:00 a.m. on October 21, law enforcement officers observed MICHAEL STINSON and HARVIN arrive at APM, enter the building, and pack 29 firearms into four duffle bags that they had brought with them. STINSON and HARVIN then carried two of the bags containing 16 firearms from the building and placed the bags inside their vehicle. Officers apprehended MICHAEL STINSON and HARVIN before they could reenter APM to gather the other 13 firearms. The following morning, EUGENE STINSON was arrested by the United States Marshals Service at his home in the PT Barnum housing complex in Bridgeport.
MICHAEL and EUGENE STINSON are scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2010. They each face a maximum term of 15 years in prison on the conspiracy and theft convictions. In addition, MICHAEL STINSON’s criminal history, which includes a 1994 federal conviction for armed robbery of a U.S. postal station, exposes him to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a maximum term of life for possessing firearms after being convicted of a felony offense.
HARVIN is scheduled to be sentenced on May 27, 2010, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 25 years.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Bridgeport Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Felice M. Duffy and Robert M. Spector.
U.S. Attorney Dannehy noted that this prosecution is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. This program is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession, sale and trafficking of guns, and improving the safety of residents throughout Connecticut. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods