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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 21, 2020

Former Police Officer Charged with Transferring Firearms to Convicted Felon

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Kelly D. Brady, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division, announced that JOSEPH RYAN, 56, of Trumbull, was arrested today on a federal criminal complaint charging him with knowingly providing firearms to a convicted felon.

As alleged in the complaint, 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.

It is further alleged that, 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 transferred firearms to an individual who he knew was a convicted felon, and who helped facilitate heroin transactions between Ryan and Ryan’s heroin supplier.  Some of the firearms were then transferred to Martin.

The charge of knowingly providing a firearm to a convicted felon carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.  U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  Charges are only allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ryan appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and was released on a $100,000 bond.

Martin, 24, of Ansonia, was arrested on October 2, 2019.  On January 16, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one count of dealing firearms without a license and one count of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.  He is awaiting sentencing.

This investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), New Haven Police Department and Ansonia Police Department.  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.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated February 21, 2020