States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|April 6, 2010||
Project Safe Neighborhoods: BRIDGEPORT MAN SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR POSSESSING GUN, DRUGS
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that GEORGE MORALES, 47, formerly of Park Street, Bridgeport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to 36 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. On January 14, 2010, MORALES pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon, and one count of distribution of heroin.
This matter stems from “Operation Young Gunz,” a Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation conducted by members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Bridgeport Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Marshals Service. The investigation, which included numerous purchases of firearms, heroin and crack cocaine, targeted young, repeat offenders who are alleged to have sold and conspired to sell firearms for profit. Analysis of the firearms purchased during this investigation has revealed that several of the firearms were reported stolen and/or have been used in other crimes.
On April 2, 2009, while executing a state arrest warrant at MORALES’ residence, law enforcement officers observed MORALES exiting a bathroom carrying a plastic bag, which he then threw in a closet. After MORALES was taken into custody, officers seized 70 blue folds of heroin from his closet. MORALES then gave officers a key to a safe in the closet, which contained a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol with an obliterated serial number, a magazine containing five rounds of Remington .380 caliber ammunition, and $5,775 in cash. Inside the residence officers also found 10 blue folds of heroin in the toilet, and 20 blue folds of heroin and a baggy that contained marijuana in a kitchen cabinet.
Prior to April 2009, MORALES sustained several felony convictions in Connecticut Superior Court. It is a violation of federal law for a convicted felon to possess a firearm that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
MORALES has been detained since his arrest on April 2, 2009.
This case was investigated by the Bridgeport Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Marshals Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Felice Duffy as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents of Connecticut’s cities. 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