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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Connecticut

For Immediate Release

February 16, 2011

David B. Fein, United States Attorney

Contact: Tom Carson, Public Information Office
(203) 821-3722

Project Safe Neighborhoods

Bridgeport Man Involved in Gun Trafficking Sentenced to 51 Months in Federal Prison

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that GZAREACKT TORRES, also known as Geraldo, 31, of Bridgeport, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to 51 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. On November 16, 2010, TORRES pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a firearm and ammunition by a previously convicted felon.

In January 2009, as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, members of the Bridgeport Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began an investigation into gun trafficking that was centered in the P.T. Barnum Public Housing Complex and surrounding neighborhoods on the west side of Bridgeport.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 8, 2009, law enforcement officers conducted a controlled purchase of a .22 caliber rifle, which had an obliterated serial number, and five rounds of ammunition from TORRES in the P.T. Barnum complex. Later, on March 3, 2009, law enforcement officers made a controlled purchase of a loaded 12 gauge shotgun from TORRES.

Prior to these transactions, TORRES had been convicted of felony offenses. 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.

TORRES has been detained in state custody on unrelated charges since August 9, 2009.

This matter has been investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Bridgeport Police Department; ICE Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Marshals Service, and the New Haven Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Felice Duffy.

The Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, and improving the safety of residents in Connecticut's cities. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.