New Haven Man Charged with Illegal Gun Possession
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging MARIANO IRIZARRY, 35, of New Haven, with one count of possession of a firearm a by a convicted felon.
The indictment was returned on March 19, 2019. Irizarry appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector in New Haven and entered a plea of not guilty to the offense.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, in the early morning hours of January 1, 2019, New Haven Police officers assigned to a New Year’s Eve crime prevention detail responded to a disturbance and a report of an individual with a gun in front of a nightclub on Hamilton Street in New Haven. At the scene, a bystander identified Irizarry as being in possession of a gun. After ignoring various commands from officers, Irizarry opened the driver’s side door of his vehicle and made furtive movements in the area of the steering wheel. He then closed the door and surrendered to officers. A subsequent search of the area beneath the steering wheel revealed a loaded .40 caliber Glock 27 pistol.
The firearm had been reported stolen in a residential burglary in New Haven in March 2015.
It is further alleged that Irizarry’s criminal history includes felony drug convictions in 2000 and 2010, and a felony conviction in August 2000 for illegal sexual contact with a minor.
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.
If convicted of the offense, Irizarry faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.
Irizarry was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on February 6. He is released on a $50,000 bond.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.
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.