New Britain Man Arrested in Manchester Pleads Guilty to Firearm and Drug Charges

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Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that HILARY ANTHONY BROWNE, 31, of New Britain, pleaded guilty today to firearm possession and drug distribution offenses.

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson occurred via videoconference.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in late 2019, the Manchester Police Department, East Central Narcotics Task Force and Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force conducted an investigation of Browne for selling cocaine.  Browne was arrested in Manchester on December 20, 2019.  At the time of his arrest, he possessed a small quantity of cocaine.  After Browne informed an officer that he possessed a firearm, ballistic vest and a quantity of cocaine at his New Britain apartment, a consent search of the apartment revealed a loaded semi-automatic Pieper, Model 1908/Basculant, 6.35mm pistol; a bullet proof vest; and a pill bottle containing 4.7 grams of cocaine.

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Browne’s criminal history includes state convictions for robbery in the first degree with the threat of a firearm, burglary and failure to appear.

Browne pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; felon in possession of body armor, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years; and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

This matter has been investigated by the Manchester Police Department, East Central Narcotics Task Force, Drug Enforcement Administration’s Hartford Task Force, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Keefe.

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This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

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