States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|September 9, 2010||
Project Safe Neighborhoods: BRIDGEPORT MAN ADMITS SELLING SAWED-OFF RIFLE
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL HAMPTON, also known as “Country,” 29, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of transferring a sawed-off rifle.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on October 6, 2009, HAMPTON and another individual sawed the barrel of a rifle and then sold the sawed-off rifle to another individual. HAMPTON also transferred a second rifle to the same individual in December 2009.
It is a violation of federal law for a person to transfer a rifle that has a barrel shorter than 16 inches without receiving government approval to register and transfer the rifle.
In January 2009, as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, members of the Bridgeport Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began an investigation into gun trafficking that was centered in the PT Barnum Public Housing Complex and surrounding neighborhoods on the west side of Bridgeport.
Approximately 32 firearms were purchased during the course of the investigation. On June 30, 2009, 11 individuals, including HAMPTON, were arrested and charged with federal firearms offenses. Additional defendants were arrested on state charges.
Judge Underhill has scheduled sentencing for November 29, 2010, at which time HAMPTON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
HAMPTON has been detained since his arrest.
This matter has been investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Bridgeport Police Department; U.S. Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Marshals Service, and the New Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Felice Duffy and Douglas Morabito.
The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents in 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