States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|June 25, 2010||
BRANFORD MAN SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR POSSESSING FIREARM WHILE UNDER RESTRAINING ORDER
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that RORY JOSEPH, 40, formerly of Briarwood Lane, Branford, was sentenced yesterday, June 24, by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 10 years imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for possessing a firearm while subject to a restraining order, and for seeking to have the mother of his child severely injured.
“This substantial sentence is appropriate for this crime and one that hopefully will serve as a deterrent to others who might cause harm to domestic partners,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “I want to commend the ATF agents and New Haven Police who worked this matter and prevented a horrific crime from occurring.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, in June 2008, JOSEPH violently attacked his girlfriend with whom he shared a child. JOSEPH was arrested and charged by the State of Connecticut with domestic violence offenses. While in state custody, JOSEPH contacted the victim several times in violation of a court order. In March 2009, JOSEPH was convicted in state court on the domestic violence charges and placed on probation. He also was subject to a protective order, which barred him from harassing, stalking, or threatening the mother of his child.
In April 2009, shortly after his release from state custody, JOSEPH solicited an individual working with law enforcement to assault the mother of his child. JOSEPH instructed this individual to “cripple” the victim so that she could not “walk anymore in her lifetime.” JOSEPH provided the individual working with law enforcement with information concerning the intended victim’s address, vehicle and schedule, and offered to pay money for the assault. On April 22, 2009, as JOSEPH continued to attempt to arrange the assault on the mother of his child, he purchased a Smith & Wesson, .38 special revolver from the individual working with law enforcement for $150. JOSEPH was arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on that date.
Following his April 2009 arrest, and while detained in federal custody, JOSEPH recruited another inmate to arrange an attack on the victim. This inmate reported JOSEPH’s efforts to law enforcement, and JOSEPH’s plan was again thwarted.
On December 29, 2009, JOSEPH pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm while subject to a restraining order. It is a violation of federal law for a person who is the subject of a restraining order issued after a hearing, which restrains that person from harassing, stalking, or threatening another individual, to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
Prior to his domestic violence convictions, JOSEPH had not been convicted of a crime. As a result, JOSEPH faced a federal sentencing guidelines range of 21 to 27 months of imprisonment on the charge of possessing a firearm while subject to a restraining order. However, the Government asked the Court to impose a sentence above the guideline range, arguing that JOSEPH’s repeated attempts to attack the victim had caused her extreme psychological harm, and that a lengthy term of imprisonment was necessary to protect the victim and to deter the defendant, and others, from committing a similar offense.
In sentencing JOSEPH to a 10-year term of imprisonment, the maximum sentence allowed by law, Judge Hall noted that the defendant’s repeated attempts to harm the mother of his child, even while in federal custody, showed that a long sentence was necessary to deter him and to protect the public from him.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the New Haven Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Mattei.
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