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Department of Justice

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

New Haven Man Admits Illegal Possession of 2 Handguns, Including One Converted to a Machine Gun

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Vanessa Roberts Avery, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Duayne Nelson, 31, of New Haven, pleaded guilty today in New Haven federal court to unlawful possession of firearms by a felon.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 14, 2022, Nelson was arrested in West Haven after he was found with a Taurus G3C 9mm handgun with 12-round magazine, and a Glock 27 .40 caliber handgun with a 13-round extended magazine and fitted with a “sear switch” that made the gun fully automatic.

Nelson’s criminal history included state convictions for criminal weapon possession and robbery in the second degree. 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.

Nelson is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford on Feb. 20, 2024, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years.

Nelson is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.

This investigation is being conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the West Haven Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan J. Keefe 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 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.


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