Stratford Man Sentenced to 40 Months in Federal Prison for Trafficking Firearms and Explosives
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 09, 2010|
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that EDWIN T. WESTMORELAND, 28, of Stratford, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall in Bridgeport to 40 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his involvement in a conspiracy to provide firearms and explosives to what he thought was a white supremacist group located outside of Connecticut.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on the evening of March 9, 2009, WESTMORELAND, Alexander DeFelice, William Bolton, and an individual identified as “Witness A” met in Milford where they negotiated a firearm sale to Witness A. WESTMORELAND and his co-conspirators then sawed off the barrel of a rifle and sold it to Witness A for $300. During the negotiations, Witness A stated to the conspirators that he was a convicted felon. Witness A had previously met WESTMORELAND and the others by attending meetings or protests organized by the Connecticut White Wolves, a self-described white supremacist organization. Witness A had told DeFelice and Bolton that he was a member of a Midwestern white supremacist organization, and that this group was interested in obtaining firearms.
In the spring and summer after the March 2009 firearm sale, DeFelice had a series of discussions with Witness A in which he offered to supply firearms and explosive devices to Witness A’s “people.” On November 11, 2009, DeFelice advised Witness A that he and WESTMORELAND had two firearms for sale. That evening, DeFelice instructed Witness A to drive him to WESTMORELAND’s Stratford residence where WESTMORELAND and DeFelice sold Witness A a rifle and a shotgun. During the exchange, Witness A asked if he could “get in trouble for having this in my car,” and reiterated “I’m a felon.”
On January 23, 2010, WESTMORELAND and DeFelice met with Witness A to complete the assembly and sale of three explosive grenades, a transaction that Witness A and DeFelice had discussed over several months. WESTMORELAND, having purchased several dozen 20-gauge shotguns shells, cut open the shotgun shells at DeFelice’s Milford residence and extracted the explosive powder, which DeFelice used to complete the assembly of the live grenades. After Witness A paid DeFelice for the grenades, DeFelice paid WESTMORELAND $100.
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 1, 2010, a jury found DeFelice guilty of one count of conspiracy, two counts of transferring a firearm to a convicted felon, one count of making explosive grenades and one count of transferring explosive grenades. Following the jury’s verdicts, DeFelice also pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon.
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.
DeFelice and Bolton await sentencing.
This case 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Henry K. Kopel and Peter S. Jongbloed, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney David Cora.