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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fairfield Man Who Possessed Assault Weapon On Unh Campus Pleads Guilty To Federal Firearm Offense


Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM DONG, 23, of Fairfield, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to transporting an assault weapon into Connecticut in violation of federal law.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in September 2013, DONG traveled to Pennsylvania, purchased a Bushmaster model XM-15-E2S, .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle and transported the rifle back to Connecticut.  This firearm is considered a prohibited assault weapon under Connecticut state law.

On December 3, 2013, West Haven Police arrested DONG in the vicinity of the University of New Haven after he was found in possession of two handguns on his person, and the Bushmaster rifle, which was seized from his nearby car.  DONG told police that he had purchased the rifle from a seller in Pennsylvania in September 2013 through an advertisement placed on www.armslist.com.

Although it is not unlawful under federal law for an individual, who is not a prohibited person, to possess this Bushmaster firearm, it is a federal violation for an individual to purchase this firearm outside of Connecticut and travel into the state with it, since it is a prohibited firearm under Connecticut state law. 

DONG has been detained since his arrest.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford on January 29, 2015, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

On October 17, 2014, DONG pleaded guilty in Milford Superior Court to state firearms offenses related to the December 2013 incident in West Haven.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, working together with the West Haven Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS CONTACT:

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722
thomas.carson@usdoj.gov

Component(s): 
Updated March 18, 2015