John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CHAZE YOPP, 27, of New Haven, pleaded guilty today to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, shortly after midnight on January 11, 2020, Yopp was a passenger in an SUV that sped away from New Haven Police officers who attempted to stop the SUV for multiple motor vehicle infractions. The SUV ultimately crashed into a light box at the corner of Dixwell Avenue and Bassett Street. Yopp fled from the crash on foot and discarded a loaded Taurus 9mm pistol as he ran through backyards along Dixwell Avenue.
Yopp was arrested on state charges on January 28, 2020, and on federal criminal complaint of February 26, 2020.
Yopp’s criminal history includes state felony convictions for drug and firearm 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.
The charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
Yopp is released on a $25,000 bond pending sentencing, which is not scheduled.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets Gang Task Force and the New Haven Police Department. The task force includes members from the Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction and the New Haven, Milford, East Haven and Hamden Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Conor M. Reardon.
This prosecution 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.