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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Connecticut
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, September 22, 2023

Man Who Trafficked Guns into Bridgeport Pleads Guilty

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Brannon Winston, 23, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to firearm trafficking and possession offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Winston purchased firearms in Georgia, where he resided at times, and provided them to customers in Connecticut. Winston personally purchased at least 18 firearms in Georgia, and he had others purchase additional firearms on his behalf. The investigation, which included gun recoveries after shooting incidents in Bridgeport, revealed that some of the firearms were provided to members of the East End and PT Barnum gangs in Bridgeport.

On March 16, 2022, a federal grand jury in Bridgeport returned an indictment charging Winston with firearms trafficking offenses. During his arraignment on March 29, 2022, Winston was informed that he could be required to serve a consecutive term of imprisonment of up to 10 years if it committed a federal felony while on pretrial release. Winston was released on a $100,000 bond on that date.

On December 21, 2022, Winston was arrested by Bridgeport Police for possessing a .357 caliber handgun with a loaded high-capacity magazine. He has been detained in federal custody since January 3, 2023.

Winston pleaded guilty to one count of crossing state lines with the intent to engage unlicensed dealing of firearms, and one count of receipt of a firearm by a person under indictment. Judge Thompson scheduled sentencing for December 20, at which time Winston faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 25 years.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Bridgeport Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale through Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), 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 works 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.


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