Hartford Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Possession and Cocaine Distribution Charges
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LUIS NIEVES-FELICIANO, 41, of Hartford, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven to drug and firearm offenses.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on May 4, 2019, agents with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (“DRS”) arrived at Broad Street Liquors, located at 1949 Broad Street in Hartford, to conduct a routine permit/cigarette inspection. When they entered, Nieves-Feliciano, an employee of the store, was standing behind the counter. Nieves-Feliciano immediately concealed items, struggled with DRS agents, and eventually fled the store.
The DRS agents then contacted Hartford Police and a court-authorized search of the store revealed a loaded Kel-Tec, Model P11, 9mm semiautomatic pistol, approximately 45 grams of cocaine packaged for distribution and a quantity of marijuana packaged for distribution, all of which was located on or behind the store’s counter. A second 9mm pistol, a box of ammunition, approximately 112 grams of cocaine, approximately $13,000 in cash, and personal items and documents belonging to Nieves-Felciano, were located in the basement of the store.
The search of the store also revealed several cigarette packs that had fraudulent tax stamps.
Nieves-Felciano’s criminal history includes state felony convictions for narcotics, firearm, assault and robbery offenses.
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.
Nieves-Feliciano pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of possession of firearms by a previously convicted felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Judge Arterton scheduled sentencing for January 13, 2020.
Nieves-Feliciano has been detained since May 15, 2019, when he was arrested on a federal criminal complaint.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Northern Connecticut Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes members of the Hartford Police Department, East Hartford Police Department, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut Department of Correction. The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services provided valuable assistance to the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.
This case 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.