Ellington Man Admits Stealing Firearm, Selling It To Heroin Dealer
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JUSTIN ASHLINE, 24, of Ellington, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in late April or early May 2014, ASHLINE stole a Ruger .357 caliber handgun from his employer’s truck, traveled to Hartford and sold the gun to his heroin dealer in exchange for approximately 20 baggies of heroin and between $70 and $100 in cash. On May 23, 2014, law enforcement officers located and seized the handgun when they executed a search warrant at the Hartford residence of the heroin dealer.
ASHLINE has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on June 20, 2014.
ASHLINE has four prior felony convictions, including one for sale of narcotics and one for first degree larceny. 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.
Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for April 7, 2015, at which time ASHLINE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Connecticut State Police and the Hartford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.
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