New Haven Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun and Drug Charges
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MARIANO IRIZARRY, 35, of New Haven, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of distributing a controlled substance while on pretrial release.
According to 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.
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.
Irizarry was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on February 6, 2019, and was released on a $50,000 bond. On June 17, 2019, he sold four bags of heroin, some of which contained fentanyl, to an individual working with law enforcement. He has been detained since his arrest on June 27, 2019.
Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for January 14, 2020, at which time Irizarry faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. 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.