For Immediate Release
New Britain Man Sentenced to 42 Months in Federal Prison for Firearm Offense
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that LUIS JAVIER LOPEZ, 24, of New Britain, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to 42 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release for unlawfully possessing a firearm and ammunition.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on February 26, 2022, Hartford Police attempted to stop a car that Lopez was driving, and which was reported to be involved in two shots fired incidents in the weeks prior. After Lopez fled, police deployed tire deflation devices during the pursuit to disable Lopez’s car. Lopez continued to drive his disabled car for several miles before he crashed into a vehicle stopped at a red light on the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield. Lopez ran from his car and was arrested in the vicinity of a motel on Arrow Road.
At the time of his arrest, Lopez possessed a high-capacity magazine loaded with 16 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Officers also located a 9mm firearm on the other side of a fence where Lopez had been running, and two spent 9mm shell casings by Lopez’s car. Analysis of the firearm and recovered shell casings via the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) connected them to each other, and to the two shots fired incidents involving his car.
Lopez was previously convicted in state court of possession with intent to sell a controlled substance. It is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony offense to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
Lopez has been detained since his arrest. On February 16, 2023, he pleaded guilty to possession of ammunition by a felon.
This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Hartford Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie T. Levick and Angel M. Krull through the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program.
PSN is 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.