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Press Release

Former Police Officer Sentenced to Prison for Unlawfully Possessing and Transferring Firearms

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSEPH RYAN, 58, of Trumbull, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to six months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for unlawful possession and transfer of five firearms on behalf of his drug dealer.  Judge Meyer also ordered Ryan to pay a $5,000 fine.

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 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.  On April 12, 2021, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of firearms by an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

Ryan, who is released on a $100,000 bond, is required to report to prison on September 15, 2021.

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 was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), New Haven Police Department, Ansonia Police Department, and Connecticut State Police.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria del Pilar Gonzalez.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated July 22, 2021

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses