States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|May 12, 2011||
MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED GUNS SEIZED IN JOINT LAW
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Guy N. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division, and Robert Nivakoff, Chief of the Stamford Police, today announced that 16 individuals have been charged with various federal offenses related to the alleged trafficking of firearms, including machine guns, and narcotics in southwestern Connecticut. More than 100 firearms have been purchased or seized during the investigation.
On May 10, a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven returned a 20-count indictment charging a total of 15 individuals. The indictment was unsealed following the arrest of 13 defendants today. One individual also was arrested on a federal criminal complaint. Two of the defendants are in state custody on unrelated charges.
“I want to commend all of the law enforcement officers involved in this investigation,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “Their coordinated efforts both today and over the past several months have removed scores of dangerous weapons from the streets, disrupting what we allege to be a significant gun trafficking network.”
“We believe that ATF’s collaborative work with Stamford Police Department and our other law enforcement partners in this complex investigation, culminating in today’s safely executed operations, will have a significant impact on reducing violence and improving the quality of life for residents of Stamford and surrounding communities,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Thomas.
“I want to thank the ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, Bridgeport Police, Norwalk Police and the Connecticut Department of Correction for their work during this investigation, which has taken many dangerous heavy weapons out of the wrong hands,” stated Stamford Police Chief Nivakoff. “We’re proud to have been involved in this operation, which now includes the largest seizure of firearms in the history of the Stamford Police Department.”
The indictment and today’s arrests represent the culmination of a long-term joint investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Marshals Service, the Stamford Police Department, the Bridgeport Police Department, the Norwalk Police Department and the Connecticut Department of Correction. The investigation was funded in significant part by the United States Attorney’s Office Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and supported by the Office’s Project Safe Neighborhoods and Anti-Gang programs.
The indictment alleges that, on multiple occasions beginning in approximately July 2010, PATRICK UZAR of Stamford acquired firearms from relatives, as well as fellow members and associates of the Stamford Chapter of the Latin Kings, sold the firearms to a third party and distributed some of the sale proceeds to members of the conspiracy. The indictment further alleges that UZAR and others also were involved in the distribution of cocaine and Ecstasy.
During the investigation, law enforcement acquired several firearms, including machine guns, through controlled purchases. Today, in association with the arrest of the defendants, law enforcement officers executed multiple federal search warrants and seized dozens of firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and related material.
Charged in the indictment are:
In addition, ANTHONY UZAR, JR., 28, of Frederick Street, Stamford, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with possession of firearm and ammunition by a previously convicted felon.
The Indictment charges PATRICK UZAR and GEORGE UZAR, SR. with one count of conspiracy to sell machine guns and four counts of possession and transfer of machine guns. If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000 on the conspiracy charge, and a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the possession and transfers charges.
PATRICK UZAR, GOULBOURNE, ZAMBRANA, DAVIS, BLACKBURN and ANTHONY UZAR, SR. are each charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in illegal firearms dealing and one count of illegal firearms dealing. Both of these charges carry a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
GOULBOURNE and BLACKBURN are each charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of to $250,000.
PATRICK UZAR, CRESPO, REVELLO and FELICIANO are charged with conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years and a fine of up to $2 million. The indictment also charges PATRICK UZAR with four counts and CRESPO with two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. UZAR is charged in one of these counts with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and MDMA (“Ecstasy”). This charge carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million, on each count.
PATRICK UZAR, BROWN and NUNEZ are charged with conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute MDMA (“Ecstasy”). If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of up to $1 million.
Finally, MARTINEZ, NIEVES and ALIAGA are each charged with one count of using a telephone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of four years and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that the charges are 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 prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan and Marc H. Silverman.
U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Department of Justice
Project Safe Neighborhoods