U.S. Attorney Young Announces $736,842 in U.S. Department of Justice Grant Funding to Support the Accessibility of Criminal Justice Information to Law Enforcement
CONCORD – A Methuen man was sentenced today in federal court for conspiring to steal firearms from three different New Hampshire gun stores, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announces.
Johariel Quezada, 19, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Samantha Elliot to 24 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. Quezada’s restitution hearing has been scheduled for August 9, 2023. Quezada and his two co-defendants, William Mejia and Ethan Ayala, were indicted on June 13, 2022. On January 5, 2023, Quezada pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal firearms from a federal firearms licensee. Mejia pleaded guilty to similar charges and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 7, 2023. Ayala is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15, 2024.
“Stolen firearms often fuel the gun violence that has become far too common in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young. “Stopping the flow of stolen firearms into our communities remains a top priority of this office and we will continue to seek serious sentences for these very serious crimes.”
“Keeping guns from being stolen and used to commit further crimes remains a top priority for ATF,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge James Ferguson.
Between August 29, 2021, and October 4, 2021, Quezada conspired with others to steal firearms from three New Hampshire Federal Firearms Licensees. During the course of the conspiracy, 43 firearms were stolen from Milford Firearms in Milford, Second Amendment Arms in Windham, and MacPherson Firearms in Brentwood. Multiple stolen firearms were recovered from Quezada’s residence. Videos recovered from Quezada’s phone showed numerous stolen firearms and admissions of his involvement in the conspiracy.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives led the investigation. Valuable assistance was provided by the Andover Police Department, the Brentwood Police Department, the Haverhill Police Department, the Lawrence Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, the Salem (NH) Police Department, the Somersworth Police Department, the Saugus Police Department, the Wellesley Police Department, and the Windham Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Kennedy prosecuted the case.
This case 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 gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities; supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place; setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities; and measuring the results.