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Canterbury Man Charged with Illegally Possessing Machinegun and Other Firearms

Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division, today announced that a federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned an indictment yesterday charging ANDRES VASQUEZ, 34, of Canterbury, with offenses related to the unlawful possession of a machinegun and other firearms.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, on April 28, 2020, federal agents executed a search warrant at an apartment in New Britain and seized drugs, drug paraphernalia, a 9mm handgun and ammunition.  The handgun was registered to Vasquez and had not been reported stolen.  The investigation revealed that Vasquez had several other firearms registered to him.  On June 5, 2020, a search of Vasquez’s Canterbury residence revealed five semi-automatic rifles, three handguns, a machinegun bearing no serial number, additional un-serialized firearms, firearm parts, ammunition, and drug paraphernalia.  Vasquez was a heroin user when he was in possession of the firearms.

The indictment charges Vasquez with one count of possession of firearms by a user of a controlled substance, and one count of unlawful possession of a machinegun.  Each offense carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

U.S. Attorney Boyle 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.

Vasquez was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on December 14, 2020.  He is released on a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on January 27.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Connecticut State Police, with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration.   The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Angel M. Krull.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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