HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT – Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSE NUNEZ-TORRES, also known as “Jose Nunez” and “J-Money,” 21, of Hartford, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam in New Haven to one count of theft of government property and one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on January 29, 2019, Nunez-Torres and Dominque Perry stole a 2016 Honda Accord from a residence in Newington. The vehicle was the property of a federal law enforcement agency, and contained fully loaded firearm magazines for multiple weapons, ammunition, handcuffs and other restraints, a ballistic vest and its component parts, and raid jackets. After stealing the vehicle, Perry drove the Accord to a location in Bloomfield where he Nunez-Torres removed the vehicle’s tires and rims. Nunez-Torres and Perry subsequently sold the tires and rims, and advertised the sale of loaded firearm magazines, ammunition, ballistic vest and other items.
The vehicle and its tires and rims have been recovered, but some of the law enforcement equipment that was in the car has not been located.
Nunez-Torres was arrested on March 1, 2019, and he was subsequently released on bond.
In the afternoon of November 14, 2020, Nunez-Torres was arrested on state charges after law enforcement officers encountered him sleeping in a stolen car that was parked on an I-91 off ramp in Hartford. A search of the car revealed two stun guns, a black metal collapsible baton, and distribution quantities of fentanyl and marijuana. He has been detained since his arrest.
Theft of government property carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Nunez-Torres is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on August 3, 2021, in Hartford.
Nunez-Torres’ federal plea agreement also indicates that he will plead guilty in state court to risk of injury of a minor related to his intending to impair the morals of a minor under the age of 16, and to larceny offenses related to his earlier theft of two additional vehicles, a 2016 Nissan Maxima valued at $17,000 and a 2012 BMW 528 valued at $22,000.
Perry pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property and, on February 3, 2020, was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by four months of home confinement. Judge Chatigny also ordered Perry to pay $1,560 in restitution for the missing equipment.
This matter has been investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with the assistance of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Newington Police Department, the Hartford Police Department and the Connecticut State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.
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