Hartford Man Pleads Guilty To Federal Gun Charge
Deirdre Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that OBED FRANCO, also known as “Obie,” 23, of Hartford, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to court documents and statements made in court, FRANCO was a member of a drug trafficking organization that sold heroin in the Hartford area. One of FRANCO’s heroin customers held a Connecticut pistol permit. On five occasions between February 2011 and May 2011, FRANCO and others drove the drug customer to a federally-licensed firearms dealer in East Hartford and picked out a total of eight guns for the customer to purchase. FRANCO and his other co-conspirators, including Wilson Morillo, then provided the customer with money to complete the purchases. After purchasing the firearms and leaving the store, FRANCO and his co-conspirators gave the drug customer heroin and cash in exchange for the firearms.
In May 2011, FRANCO also purchased a firearm from another heroin customer in exchange for cash and heroin.
Judge Hall has scheduled sentencing for September 18, 2013, at which time FRANCO faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of life imprisonment.
FRANCO has been detained on unrelated state charges since June 15, 2011.
On May 28, 2013, Morillo pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. He also is detained while awaiting sentencing.
This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Hartford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan S. Freimann and Special Assistant United States Attorney Natasha Dye.
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