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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Connecticut

For Immediate Release

December 2, 2010

David B. Fein, United States Attorney

Contact: Tom Carson, Public Information Office
(203) 821-3722

New Britain Man Sentenced to More Than Nine Years in Federal Prison for Possession of a Stolen Firearm

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that LIONEL DELEON, 40, formerly of Winter Street, New Britain, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 115 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. On May 5, 2010, DELEON pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a stolen firearm.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 2, 2009, New Britain police officers executed a search warrant at DELEON’s Winter Street residence. That search resulted in the seizure of a .45 caliber Hardballer semi-automatic pistol and eight rounds of .45 caliber ammunition. Law enforcement officers later determined that the firearm had been stolen from a gun store in Plainville. As part of his plea, DELEON admitted that he knew the firearm was stolen.

It is a federal crime to possess a stolen firearm when one knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the firearm is stolen.

DELEON has been in state custody since his arrest on February 2, 2009.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New Britain Police Department pursuant to the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Mattei.

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.