News Release
For Immediate Release
October 25, 2010
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

Meriden Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Gun Charge


OCT 25 -- Steven W. Derr Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that KENNEDY JOHNSON, 32, formerly of Twiss Street, Meriden, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on September 17, 2009, JOHNSON sold a Colt .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle to an undercover law enforcement officer.  In pleading guilty, JOHNSON also acknowledged that, on October 8, 2009, he sold a Romarm/Cugir 7.62 caliber semi-automatic rifle to an undercover officer, and had engaged in the business of unlawfully dealing in firearms.

JOHNSON has previously been convicted of multiple felony offenses including, robbery, unlawful restraint, risk of injury to a minor and sale of narcotics.

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.

JOHNSON has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on December 17, 2009.

Judge Bryant has scheduled sentencing for January 11, 2011, at which time JOHNSON faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

This matter was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The DEA Task Force includes officers from the New Haven, West Haven, Meriden, Ansonia, Hamden and Branford Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher M. Mattei and S. Dave Vatti.        

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