For Immediate Release
Fairfield Man Accused of Possessing Weapons on UNH Campus Charged with Federal Firearms Offense
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that WILLIAM DONG, 23, of Fairfield, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with the unlawful transport into Connecticut of an assault weapon purchased in Pennsylvania. The complaint was unsealed today during DONG’s appearance in New Haven federal court.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, in approximately September 2013, DONG traveled to Pennsylvania, purchased a Bushmaster model XM-15-E2S, .223 caliber semi-automatic rifle and transported the rifle back to Connecticut. This firearm is considered a prohibited assault weapon under Connecticut state law.
On December 3, 2013, West Haven Police arrested DONG in the vicinity of the University of New Haven after he was found in possession of two handguns on his person, and the Bushmaster rifle, which was seized from his nearby car. The complaint alleges that DONG told police that he had purchased the rifle from a seller in Pennsylvania in September 2013 through an advertisement placed on www.armslist.com.
Although it is not unlawful under federal law for an individual, who is not a prohibited person, to possess this Bushmaster firearm, it is a federal violation for an individual to purchase this firearm outside of Connecticut and travel into the state with it, since it is a prohibited firearm under Connecticut state law.
The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
DONG, who has been detained in state custody since his arrest on December 3, appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven. He agreed to the entry of a federal order of detention and waived his right to a speedy indictment and a probable cause hearing.
This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, working together with the West Haven Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Spector.