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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of Connecticut

For Immediate Release

June 22, 2011

David B. Fein, United States Attorney

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

Milford Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Robbery Conspiracy and Firearms Trafficking Offenses

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that WILLIAM R. BOLTON, 32, of Milford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in planning an attempted burglary and selling a sawed-off shotgun to a convicted felon.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in January 2009, a co–conspirator of BOLTON’s, Alexander DeFelice, told another individual (Witness A) that he and BOLTON had come up with a plan to burglarize or rob an individual in Ansonia who assembled firearms at his apartment from parts obtained over the Internet. On January 31, 2009, BOLTON and his associate, Edwin T. Westmoreland, met with Witness A, both to discuss the burglary/robbery plan and to conduct a drive–by surveillance of the residence targeted for the burglary/robbery. These events, as well as previous discussions between DeFelice and Witness A, were recorded. In those discussions, DeFelice stated that the inventory amassed by the gun assembler at his Ansonia apartment included a variety of semi–automatic or automatic weapons with a total estimated value of $400,000. Although the preferred plan was to break and enter the apartment when the gun assembler was not present, BOLTON and DeFelice stated that if the gun assembler were present or returned to the apartment during the burglary, they planned to assault him, knock him out, and tie him up.

On January 31, 2009, Witness A drove BOLTON and DeFelice past the gun assembler’s apartment building. During the drive, they continued to discuss the planned burglary/robbery. However, after the co–conspirators heard that the gun assembler had moved out and taken the firearms inventory to an unknown location, the burglary/robbery was not attempted.

On the evening of March 9, 2009, BOLTON and Westmoreland met with Witness A at DeFelice’s residence where BOLTON, Westmoreland and DeFelice negotiated the sale of a rifle to Witness A. During those discussions, when the subject of registering firearms came up, Witness A exclaimed loudly to all three men, I’m a convicted felon, I don’t register nothin.

Also during the evening’s discussions, DeFelice offered to have the rifle barrel sawed down for Witness A’s people. After BOLTON and Witness A purchased hacksaw blades, DeFelice, assisted by Westmoreland, sawed off the barrel of the rifle. After Witness A purchased the rifle for $300 in cash, DeFelice ordered BOLTON and Westmoreland to take the sawed-off barrel and throw it into a river from the Devon Bridge in Milford. BOLTON stated I’ll get rid of it.

On March 20, 2010, BOLTON, who was serving in the United States Army at the time, was arrested in Virginia by the U.S. Army, Criminal Investigation Command. He has been detained since his arrest.

On August 18, 2010, BOLTON pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and one count of sale of a firearm to a convicted felon.

On June 29, 2010, Westmoreland pleaded guilty to one count of sale of a firearm to a convicted felon and one count of conspiracy to sell firearms to a convicted felon and to make and transfer unregistered firearms consisting of explosive grenades. On December 9, 2010, Judge Hall sentenced Westmoreland to 40 months of imprisonment.

On December 1, 2010, a jury found DeFelice guilty of five counts of conspiracy, sale of firearms to a convicted felon, and making and transferring firearms consisting of explosive grenades. DeFelice also pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of firearms by a convicted felon. On May 5, 2011, Judge Hall sentenced DeFelice to 120 months of imprisonment.

This matter was investigated by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, notably the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Connecticut State Police, the U.S. Secret Service, and the Federal Air Marshal Service, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; the U.S. Army, Criminal Investigation Command, and the Milford, Ansonia, Stratford and New Haven Police Departments.

This case was being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Henry K. Kopel and Peter S. Jongbloed, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney David Cora.