BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WWLP) - Federal prosecutors say that a Connecticut truck driver secretly stashed extra cases of guns from the Springfield Smith & Wesson plant into his truck , in order to steal them and sell them on the streets.
On Wednesday, a grand jury in Bridgeport returned a seven-count indictment against Elliot Perez, 27, and Michael Murphy, 24, both of Bridgeport, for their alleged role in the theft of the 111 weapons from the gunmaker’s factory.
According to the indictment against them, on November 8, Perez had a scheduled delivery of guns to pick-up at Smith & Wesson in Springfield. He was supposed to pick up five boxes of firearms to bring back, but ended up taking an additional three. Driving back down to Connecticut, he allegedly stopped at his Bridgeport home and met with Murphy before bringing the truck to his company’s warehouse in Stratford, where he unloaded only the five that he was supposed to deliver.
The indictment charges that on November 15, Perez and Murphy sold one of the stolen guns to another individual. Five days later, when questioned by ATF special agents, Perez allegedly lied and said that a “black male” at Smith & Wesson had instructed him on which boxes he was supposed to load onto the truck, adding that he had dropped off all of the cases of guns at the company warehouse.
At the time of the two men’s arrests days later, Stratford Police had only been able to recover 28 of the stolen guns.
Both men are charged with conspiracy to possess and sell stolen firearms, trafficking in stolen firearms, possession of stolen firearms, and possession of stolen firearms by a previously convicted felon (Perez already has convictions for larceny and burglary, while Murphy has a conviction for burglary).
Perez faces an additional two counts of making a false statement to a law enforcement officer.
If convicted on all counts, Perez could face up to 45 years in prison, and Murphy could face up to 35 years in prison.