Indictment Charges Hartford Man with Illegally Possessing and Selling Firearms
(STL.News) Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and James M. Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned an indictment charging JAIME DIAZ, 29, of Hartford, with illegally possessing and selling firearms.
The indictment was returned on August 31 and Diaz was arrested today. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish in Hartford, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was released on a $25,000 bond.
As alleged in the indictment and statements made in court, between August 2020 and November 2021, Diaz purchased approximately 17 handguns from two Connecticut firearm dealers. After obtaining the firearms, he sold them to others in exchange for cash, as well as narcotics.
It is further alleged that, on November 30, 2021, ATF special agents interviewed Diaz and seized the only firearm that remained in his possession. A second firearm that Diaz purchased was recovered by the Hartford Police Department from an individual charged with drug trafficking. The remaining guns have not been located.
The indictment charges Diaz with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and one count of dealing in firearms without a license, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Reed Durham.
This prosecution 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.
In May 2021, the Justice 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.
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