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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Hartford Man Pleads Guilty To Illegally Possessing Assault Rifle

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BRIAN VELEZ, 31, of Hartford, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to court documents and statements made in court, at approximately 10:20 a.m. on November 27, 2018, a car Velez was operating sped away from Hartford Police officers who were attempting to stop the vehicle in Hartford’s South End.  Velez parked in a driveway of a residence on Newbury Street and then ran from the car while carrying a duffel bag.  After Velez was apprehended, a detective located the duffel bag in Velez’s path of travel.  The bag contained a disassembled Ruger AR 556 semi-automatic rifle.

Velez’s criminal history includes multiple convictions for burglary 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.

Velez is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on May 20, 2020, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

Velez is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.

This investigation has been conducted by the Hartford Police Department and the FBI’s Connecticut Violent Crime Task Force.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian P. Leaming.

This prosecution has been brought through 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 January 29, 2020