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Press Release

East Hartford Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearm and Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DIONTE WILSON, 25, of East Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 33 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition. 

According to court documents and statements made in court, after a review of videos on social media websites identified Wilson as being in possession of several different firearms, members of the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force conducted multiple controlled purchases of marijuana from Wilson.  On August 10, 2020, Wilson was arrested on state charges after he displayed a Taurus .380 caliber handgun following a controlled marijuana purchase.  A subsequent search of Wilson’s residence revealed a loaded .380 caliber Taurus gun magazine and approximately 100 rounds of .22 caliber long rifle hollow point bullets.  After he was released on bond in his state case, Wilson posted videos on social media of himself brandishing a firearm.

Wilson’s criminal history includes state convictions for narcotics and firearm offenses.  It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.

Wilson has been detained since his federal arrest on September 9, 2020.  On January 19, 2021, he pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

This prosecution was brought through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone, and through Project Longevity, a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities.  Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to violence.  A critical component of the Project Longevity strategy is the “call-in,” a face-to-face meeting where Project Longevity partners engage group members and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.

Wilson attended a call-in in December 2019 and did not pursue Project Longevity services that were offered to him.

The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Gang Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, New Britain Police Department, West Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth L. Gresham and Michael J. Gustafson.

Updated April 19, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses