News Release
For Immediate Release:
May 14, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Bridgeport Man Admits Illegal Firearm Sales

MAY 14 -- Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that HECTOR TORRES, also known as “Angel,” 18, of Railroad Avenue, Bridgeport, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to one count of engaging in the business of dealing firearms without a license.

This matter stems from “Operation Young Gunz,” a Project Safe Neighborhoods investigation conducted by members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Bridgeport Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, and U.S. Marshals Service. The investigation, which included numerous purchases of firearms, heroin and crack cocaine, targeted young, repeat offenders who are alleged to have sold and conspired to sell firearms for profit. Analysis of the firearms purchased during this investigation has revealed that several of the firearms were reported stolen and/or have been used in other crimes.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, in November and December 2008, TORRES sold a total of five firearms to an individual working with law enforcement. Two of the firearms sold by TORRES were sawed-off shotguns with no serial numbers.

Judge Droney has scheduled sentencing for July 31, 2009, at which time TORRES faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bridgeport Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Marshals Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Felice Duffy.

The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents in Connecticut’s cities. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.