Five Men Plead Guilty to Firearm Charges Stemming from Murder and Arson Scheme
Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that five men have pleaded guilty in Bridgeport federal court to firearm charges stemming from a plan to murder an individual and set fire to the Bridgeport business where he worked.
The following five individuals pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon:
DOMINICK GONZALEZ, also known as “Dom,” 31, of Bridgeport
LUIS MERCADO, also known as “Pops,” 55, of Bridgeport
GEORGE RIVERA, also known as “Pito,” 33, of Danbury
JASON SCOTT, also known as “Hood,” 39, of Bridgeport
LUIS MEJIAS, also known as “Kermit,” 35, of Waterbury
Mercado, Rivera and Mejias pleaded guilty on March 25, and Scott pleaded guilty yesterday. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to the offense, and also to a charge of conspiracy to commit arson, on May 4, 2021.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in early morning hours of April 2, 2018, Bridgeport Police patrolling the west side of Bridgeport attempted to stop a car that was operating with unlit taillights. The car fled from police and, during the police pursuit, officers observed several items being thrown from its windows. After the car stopped several blocks away, officers arrested both Mercado, who was driving the car, and Gonzalez, and recovered two loaded handguns and a quantity of marijuana that had been thrown from the car. A search of the car also revealed a black ski mask, a pair of binoculars, and a container of gasoline. The investigation revealed that Mercado, Gonzalez, Rivera, Scott and Mejias were involved in a plan to murder an individual and set fire to the Wood Avenue Body Shop in Bridgeport where the individual worked.
Rivera, Scott and Mejias were arrested later that morning at a hotel in Milford. A search of a hotel room revealed a loaded Smith and Wesson model M&P 15-22 caliber rifle, a loaded Taurus “Judge” revolver, a loaded Anderson Manufacturing AR 15 multi-caliber rifle, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, additional ammunition, brass knuckles, binoculars, gloves and a knit mask. Investigators also located a seized packaged heroin, ecstasy pills, marijuana, a digital scale and other items in the room, and ammunition and shotgun shells in the trunk of their car.
Each defendant has a criminal history that includes multiple felony convictions. 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.
The charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. The five defendants are detained while awaiting sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force and the Bridgeport and Milford Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Peck.