DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Connecticut

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Vanessa Roberts Avery
, United States Attorney

Wolcott Man Admits Unlawful Manufacture and Dealing of AR-15-Style Assault Rifles

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division, and Colonel Stavros Mellekas of the Connecticut State Police today announced that GREGORY LEARY, 35, of Wolcott, pleaded guilty yesterday before Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to manufacturing and dealing AR-15-style firearms without a license.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between January and March 2022, Leary received Polymer80 firearms kits from another individual and assembled them in the basement of his Wolcott residence. On three occasions during that period, Leary provided to that individual eight AR-15-style assault rifles with collapsible stocks and 30-round magazines; a “P80” 9mm semi-automatic handgun with a fully loaded, 10-round magazine; 190 rounds of .223 ammunition; one “Magtec” box containing 50 rounds of .40 caliber ammunition; and one “Independence” box containing 50 rounds of 9mm ammunition. The assault rifles and 9mm handgun contained no serial numbers.

In pleading guilty, Leary admitted that he manufactured and dealt a total of more than 25 firearms to the same individual knowing that the individual was selling the firearms to others.

Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for September 25, at which time Leary faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. Leary is released on a $20,000 bond pending sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Connecticut State Police Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force (SFTTF) and Statewide Urban Violence Cooperative Crime Control Task Force (SUVCCCTF/Gangs Unit), assisted by the Statewide Narcotics Task Force (SNTF) Southwest and North Central Offices, and the Bridgeport, Shelton, Orange, Waterbury, and Hartford Police Departments.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tara E. Levens and Rahul Kale through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In May 2021, the Justice Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Earlier today, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco convened a meeting with the Criminal Division, FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Service, and all 93 U.S. Attorneys to discuss ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime and combat the gun violence that fuels it. To learn more about these efforts, visit

Boston Field Division