Saturday, October 24, 2020

Dominican National Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearm

 John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAN LEONARDO SANCHEZ MATA, 33, a citizen of the Dominican Republic last residing in Hartford, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 37 months of imprisonment for illegally possessing a firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force into a drug trafficking organization that was distributing heroin and fentanyl in and around Hartford.  After investigators made controlled purchases of fentanyl from a member of the organization, they obtained a search warrant for an apartment on Crown Street in Hartford.

On October 23, 2019, investigators searched the Crown Street apartment and seized a loaded .380 caliber Smith and Wesson handgun with an obliterated serial number from Sanchez Mata’s bedroom.  Investigators also seized approximately 100 grams of fentanyl, as well as items used to process and package narcotics for street sale, from other locations within the apartment.

The investigation revealed that Sanchez Mata had illegally entered the U.S. twice and was unlawfully residing in the country.

Sanchez Mata has been detained since his arrest on October 23, 2019.  On June 3, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm by an alien who is illegally in the U.S.

Sanchez Mata faces immigration proceedings when he completes his prison term.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force includes personnel from the DEA Hartford Resident Office and the Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, Rocky Hill, Wethersfield, Windsor Locks and Willimantic Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Geoffrey M. Stone.

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