Manager of Deep River Gun Manufacturer Sentenced for Violating Federal Firearms Laws
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that RICHARD CUMMINGS, 43, of East Haddam, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one year of probation and a $1,500 fine for violating federal firearms laws. CUMMINGS worked as a manager at Tri-Town Plastics (“Tri-Town”), a former federally-licensed firearms manufacturer located in Deep River.
“It is critically important for those who are responsible for manufacturing firearms to diligently comply with federal firearms laws throughout the production and distribution process,” stated U.S. Attorney Daly. “These laws exist to ensure that all legal firearms are properly accounted for and don’t wind up in the wrong hands. I commend the ATF and Plainfield Police Department for thoroughly investigating this matter.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2011 and 2012, Tri-Town had a contract with Smith and Wesson to manufacturer firearm frames at its Deep River facility. In February 2012, after the Plainfield Police Department seized a Smith and Wesson 9 millimeter handgun from a residence, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) learned that Smith and Wesson had no record of the handgun ever having been manufactured. According to Tri-Town’s records, the handgun had been scrapped in March 2011. At that time, ATF was preparing to conduct a routine inspection of Tri-Town to determine whether to renew their federal license to manufacture firearms. Tri-Town had also been inspected in 2009 and been directed by ATF to address some record-keeping issues discovered during that inspection. When CUMMINGS and a Tri-Town employee who was his subordinate discovered that there were approximately 23 firearms missing from their inventory, rather than report them as missing, CUMMINGS directed the employee to falsely list them as “scrapped” in Tri-Town’s acquisition and disposition records so that ATF would not learn that they were missing and would renew Tri-Town’s license.
CUMMINGS admitted that it was his decision to list the firearms as scrapped, at no point prior to the February 2012 Plainfield seizure did he report these firearms as missing or lost and, in February 2012, he failed to correct Tri-Town’s acquisition and disposition records to show the missing firearms.
Later, it was learned that five of the 23 firearms were not, in fact, missing, so that the total number of unaccounted firearms remains 17 (not including the one seized in Plainfield).
On January 21, 2015, CUMMINGS pleaded guilty to one count of making a false entry in a firearms manufacturer’s acquisition and disposition records in March 2011, one count of failing to file a theft/loss report between March 2011 and February 2012, and one count of failing to maintain a firearms manufacturer’s acquisition and disposition records in February 2012.
Smith and Wesson purchased Tri-Town in May 2014 and now owns the facility.
This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with the assistance of the Plainfield Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert M. Spector and Vanessa Richards.