Enfield Man Admits Putting Dozens of Guns on the Street to Feed Drug Addiction
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Brian C. Turner, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that NORMAN KLOSEK, also known as Rich Klosek, 35, of Enfield, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to offenses related to his illegal sale of numerous firearms.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in the spring of 2019, the FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force initiated court-authorized wiretaps on a member of the Los Solidos street gang who was distributing fentanyl and cocaine in and around Hartford. Intercepted communications revealed that Klosek, who had a valid state pistol permit, was acting as a “straw purchaser” of firearms for a target of the investigation who, based on his criminal history, cannot lawfully purchase or possess firearms.
On April 22, 2019, the target picked up Klosek in Enfield and drove to the Newington Gun Exchange, a licensed gun dealer in Newington, where Klosek purchased two handguns. During the purchase, Klosek completed and signed an ATF Form 4473 form in which he falsely represented that he was the actual purchaser of the firearms and was not acquiring the firearms for another person. He also represented that he was not an unlawful user, or addicted to, any controlled substances. Klosek provided the guns to the target after the purchase. Later that day, investigators conducted a traffic stop of the target’s vehicle and recovered the two firearms.
The investigation revealed that Klosek, who had an escalating drug addiction, first purchased and registered a firearm with the State of Connecticut on November 6, 2018. Since that date, Klosek purchased 45 handguns in addition to the two guns he had purchased on April 22, 2019. Twenty-five of the guns had been purchased between March 8 and April 22, 2019.
On April 24, 2019, a search of Klosek’s residence revealed empty gun boxes and receipts for firearm purchases, but no firearms. Klosek was arrested the following day in Hartford. He possessed fentanyl/heroin at the time of his arrest. Klosek admitted that he was addicted to drugs and that he had sold or “loaned” the guns he had purchased.
To date, approximately 10 of the 47 handguns purchased by Klosek have been recovered by law enforcement. One gun was recovered after it was used in a shooting in Hartford on August 22, 2019.
Klosek pleaded guilty to one count of dealing firearms without a license, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years, and one count of making a false statement during the acquisition of a firearm, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for May 26, 2020.
Klosek is released on a $50,000 bond pending sentencing.
On June 27, 2019, a grand jury Hartford returned a 32-count indictment charging 15 members and associates of Los Solidos with various narcotics trafficking and firearm possession offenses. As to these defendants, U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The FBI’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Gang Task Force includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction. The Hartford Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Division and the New Britain Police Department have provided valuable assistance to the investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.