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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 27, 2022

Two Men Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Participating in Murder and Arson Scheme

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LUIS MERCADO, also known as “Pops,” 55, of Bridgeport, and LUIS MEJIAS, also known as “Kermit,” 35, of Waterbury, were each sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 120 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for their role in a plan to murder an individual and set fire to the Bridgeport business where he worked.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in early morning hours of April 2, 2018, Bridgeport Police patrolling the west side of Bridgeport attempted to stop a car that was operating with unlit taillights.  The car fled from police and, during the police pursuit, officers observed several items being thrown from its windows.  After the car stopped several blocks away, officers arrested both Mercado, who was driving the car, and Dominick Gonzalez, and recovered two loaded handguns and a quantity of marijuana that had been thrown from the car.  A search of the car also revealed a black ski mask, a pair of binoculars, and a container of gasoline.  The investigation revealed that Mercado, Gonzalez, Mejias, George Rivera and Jason Scott were involved in a plan to murder an individual and set fire to the Wood Avenue Body Shop in Bridgeport where the individual worked.

Mejias, Rivera and Scott were arrested later that morning at a hotel in Milford.  A search of a hotel room revealed a loaded Smith and Wesson model M&P 15-22 caliber rifle, a loaded Taurus “Judge” revolver, a loaded Anderson Manufacturing AR 15 multi-caliber rifle, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, additional ammunition, brass knuckles, binoculars, gloves and a knit mask.  Investigators also located a seized packaged heroin, ecstasy pills, marijuana, a digital scale and other items in the room, and ammunition and shotgun shells in the trunk of their car.

Each defendant has a criminal history that includes multiple felony convictions.  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.

On March 25, 2022, Mercado and Mejias each pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon.

Gonzalez, Rivera and Scott pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

This matter has been investigated by the FBI’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force and the Bridgeport and Milford Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Peck.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated June 27, 2022