States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|August 18, 2010|
MILFORD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL ROBBERY CONSPIRACY AND FIREARMS TRAFFICKING CHARGES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM R. BOLTON, 32, of Milford, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport to one count of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, and one count of sale of a firearm to a convicted felon.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2009, an alleged co-conspirator of BOLTON’s told another individual (“Witness A”) that he and BOLTON had come up with a plan to burglarize or rob an individual in Ansonia who assembled firearms at his apartment from parts obtained over the internet. On January 31, 2009, BOLTON and his co-defendant met with Witness A, both to discuss the burglary/robbery plan and to conduct a drive-by surveillance of the residence targeted for the burglary/robbery. These events, as well as previous discussions between BOLTON’s co-defendant and Witness A, were recorded. In those discussions, BOLTON’s co-defendant stated that the inventory amassed by the gun assembler at his Ansonia apartment included a variety of semi-automatic or automatic weapons with a total estimated value of $400,000. Although the preferred plan was to break and enter the apartment when the gun assembler was not present, BOLTON and his co-defendant stated that if the gun assembler were present or returned to the apartment during the burglary, they planned to assault him, knock him out, and tie him up.
On January 31, 2009, Witness A drove BOLTON and his co-defendant past the gun assembler’s apartment building. During the drive, they continued to discuss the planned burglary/robbery. However, after the co-conspirators heard that the gun assembler had moved out and taken the firearms inventory to an unknown location, the burglary/robbery was never attempted.
On the evening of March 9, 2009, BOLTON and Edwin T. Westmoreland met with Witness A at the co-defendant’s residence where BOLTON, Westmoreland and the co-defendant negotiated the sale of a rifle to Witness A. During those discussions, when the subject of registering firearms came up, Witness A exclaimed loudly to all three men, “I'm a convicted felon, I don't register nothin.”
Also during the evening’s discussions, the co-defendant offered to have the rifle barrel sawed down for Witness A’s “people.” After BOLTON and Witness A purchased hacksaw blades, the co-defendant, assisted by Westmoreland, sawed off the barrel of the rifle. After Witness A purchased the rifle for $300 in cash, the co-defendant ordered BOLTON and Westmoreland to take the sawed-off barrel and throw it into a river from the Devon Bridge in Milford. BOLTON stated “I'll get rid of it.”
BOLTON is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport on November 5, 2010, at which time BOLTON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
BOLTON was serving in the United States Army in Virginia at the time of his arrest by the U.S. Army, Criminal Investigation Command on March 20, 2010. He has been detained since his arrest.
On March 18, 2010, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a seven-count indictment charging BOLTON, Westmoreland and three others with conspiracy, firearms trafficking and explosives trafficking offenses related to this scheme. On June 29, 2010, Westmoreland pleaded guilty to one count of sale of a firearm to a convicted felon, and one count of conspiracy to sell firearms to a convicted felon and to make and transfer unregistered firearms consisting of explosive grenades. He awaits sentencing.
As to the three defendants currently awaiting trial, U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, notably the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Connecticut State Police, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Federal Air Marshal Service, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Army, Criminal Investigation Command, and the Milford, Ansonia, Stratford and New Haven Police Departments.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Henry K. Kopel and Department of Justice Trial Attorney David Cora.
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