Former Police Officer Admits Unlawfully Possessing and Transferring Firearms
Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSEPH RYAN, 57, of Trumbull, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to a federal firearm charge related to his unlawful possession and transfer of five firearms on behalf of his drug dealer.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on April 27, 2018, Ansonia Police executed a state search warrant at an address in Ansonia in order to locate and seize 12 firearms that were registered to a pistol permit holder at the residence. Investigators could only locate five firearms during the search. The five firearms were then transported to the Ansonia Police Department for safekeeping. On April 3, 2019, Ryan, who at the time was a police officer with the Greenwich Police Department, went to the Ansonia Police Department and took custody of the five firearms that had been seized.
In August and September 2019, members of ATF and the New Haven Police Department made controlled purchases of four firearms from Malique Martin. Three of the four firearms purchased were among the firearms that Ryan took into his custody from the Ansonia Police Department on April 3, 2019. The investigation revealed that Ryan, who was addicted to heroin transferred firearms to an individual who was a convicted felon, and who helped facilitate heroin transactions between Ryan and a heroin supplier. Some of the firearms were then transferred to Martin.
Ryan was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on February 21, 2020.
Ryan pleaded guilty to one count of possession of firearms by an unlawful user of a controlled substance, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for July 6, 2021.
Ryan is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.
Martin, of Ansonia, previously pleaded guilty to one count of dealing firearms without a license and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. On June 16, 2020, he was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment.
This investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), New Haven Police Department, Ansonia Police Department and Connecticut State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria del Pilar Gonzalez.
This prosecution is part of 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.