News Release
August 15, 2007

South Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Firearms Charge

AUG 15 -- June W. Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcment Administration in New England and Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RICHARD “Rich” DAVISON, age 24, of 112 Hillside Lane, Seneca, South Carolina, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of possession of a stolen firearm.

On April 25, 2007, a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an Indictment charging DAVISON, Lucas Bell, and several others with various gun trafficking and possession offenses. According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, the charges stem from a year-long investigation that followed a March 2006 burglary of a firearms dealer in Taylors, South Carolina. Bell, who previously has pleaded guilty, has admitted that he served as a look-out during the robbery. After the robbery, the stolen guns were brought to DAVISON’s residence, and subsequently were transported to Connecticut.

In pleading guilty, DAVISON specifically admitted that, on March 29, 2006, he possessed a Smith & Wesson, Model 629, .44 Caliber revolver, knowing or having reasonable cause to know that the firearm was stolen.

DAVISON is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on November 5, 2007, at which time DAVISON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

On August 6, 2007, Bell, of Middletown, Connecticut, pleaded guilty to one count of transportation of a stolen firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He awaits sentencing.

U.S. Attorney O’Connor noted that this prosecution is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative. This program is aimed at reducing gun violence, deterring illegal possession, sale and trafficking of guns, and improving the safety of residents throughout Connecticut. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

The case was investigated by the Hartford Violent Crime Impact Team, the Middletown and Bristol Police Departments, and the Greenville County (SC) Sheriff’s Department. The VCIT, which is a joint task force dedicated to combating violent crime and firearms violations, is composed of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Hartford Police Department, the United States Marshals Service, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.